On Sunday morning I preached from Hebrews 11:29, continuing our series “Heroes of Faith”.
I wanted us to identify closely with the Israelite people as it was the people who were commended for their faith in Hebrews. We had great fun acting out the crossing of the Red Sea as an entire church having first recalled the events leading up to this through the plagues to the Passover. From this I made 2 observations:
God Saves Israel from Judgement
- The people realise that the only solution to their slavery is for God to intervene
- People cry out to God and God hears their cry
- The LORD’S judgement is unleashed against all living things in the land
- But he saves Israel from that judgement by the blood of the sacrificial lamb
- God sets his people free from slavery
- The people are lead out of slavery by Moses, himself obeying God’s call on his life
- However, they find themselves faced with an un-crossable sea pursued by the might of the Egyptian Army
- But God intervenes and parts the waters allowing his people to cross the red sea in the faith he has given them
- The enemy is crushed by God
I then sought to apply this first to our individual lives, (our salvation, facing personal challenge) and then to us as a church (we are new creations, what is our Red Sea?).
- The story shows how God rescues us from Judgement and sets us free from slavery (to sin), but it also shows that when we respond to God’s call in the faith he has given us we can face situations and circumstances that appear hopeless and impossible (just like the Israelites faced with the Red Sea). I used the story of my families call to Coventry to illustrate this. How do we ensure that we respond in faith to such challenges? Use examples from your own lives to help answer this
- Jubilee Church is a community of believers; a people. I asked what our “Red Sea” is and concluded that it was the challenge that faces us in fulfilling God’s call on all of us to be an Isaiah 61 church. Whilst we might now reflect our city’s ethnic mix, the majority of us are degree educated and we are trying to reach a post-industrial, majority working class city, where around 90% of our population do not have a degree. How do you feel about our call to reach the whole of our city and how comfortable or otherwise do you feel relating to people who come from a different culture or class to your own?
- We are new creations in Christ. We have died to our old selves and have been born again. How does knowing who we are in Christ help us to overcome our cultural and class differences (1 Corinthians 9)? How will this help us to build a community where we truly love one another? How does this then help us to show the love we have to those around us?