SCRIPTURE FOR THIS SUNDAY: Exodus 24: 12-18                                                                                                                           

                 (I’ll   be using The New International Version (NIV) translation.)

12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.”

13 Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. 14 He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.”

15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. 18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Pastor Bob’s Reflections:

            Well, this week I had a little talk with Jesus, as they say, and He thought that my words last week during the message were very BOLD. Yep, that’s what He kept saying to me. Bold, He kept saying, like “Jesus Christ” bold!

In case you missed it, or forgot, last Sunday in the message I let you know that you’re the most important people in the world to me. And that’s all based on the calling I have to spread the truth of the “Good News” of Jesus to everyone God sends my direction. And most important of those, is the people that come every Sunday to hear the message and worship God.

“Family” is what I called us. A family of faith.

And since Jesus liked it so much, I thought I’d pursue that line of thinking a bit to see what that might mean for our next steps. You see, Jesus told me, my Father and I see things from eternity, not just what things may look like in the moment … here on earth. Jesus put the biblical spin on our conversation, and reminded me that what we are doing is biblical work. We, our congregation, are trying to discover this strange otherworldly truth that Jesus teaches us. And then, we try to figure out how that “truth” of His applies to our daily life here and now.

            Jesus told me that even if I am only His sheepdog, I’ve got to keep going … keep teaching … keep putting the Word of God in front of the flock I have been called to. “You have to get more Jesus into their lives,” Jesus said. And so, that’s what we will do together. You … the flock, and me … the sheepdog.

            And so this Sunday I will be teaching the “Good News” of Jesus from the Old Testament. Specifically, as Matthew urges us to do, we will look back to the days of Moses and come to understand why Matthew would refer to Jesus the “new Moses.” That’s really important for understanding the new thing that God is doing with Jesus in our lives.

In the scripture above, notice how Moses receives the commandments from God up on a high mountain, all alone, in a cloud. For Jesus, however, His commandments are taught to the people, personally, face-to-face. For Moses, he tells his people when he returns that God has given us these commandments. For Jesus, He teaches the people on the mountain with Him that these “commandments” are not what you think they are. They are not meant to burden … but to bless. They are not meant to condemn you … but to lift you to your God given place in the world.

Our society loves to talk about “law and order.” We are much more resistant to talk about love and mercy. Moses brought law and order to God’s people. And all people were crushed under the burden of the law. Jesus, the “New Moses,” brings love and mercy to the commandments. “You’ve heard it said …. But I say,” is Jesus’ go-to line. He is telling us that the days of Moses have passed, and the day of redemption for all God’s people is here.

This Sunday, come and see … how God changed the world in one sermon, and what that means for ALL of us under God.

See you on the Mount …  Pastor Bob <><