I hope you are enjoying your Advent calendar! We’re reading a few verses from the Bible each day as we count down until Christmas Day.
This week we continue the story of Moses from the book of Exodus, and by the end of the week we’ll begin the story of Jesus from the book of Luke.
Moses Flees to Midian (Part 2)
Read: Exodus 2:15b-22 (NRSVue)
So Moses fled from Pharaoh. He settled in the land of Midian and sat down by a well. 16 The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came to draw water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 But some shepherds came and drove them away. Moses got up and came to their defense and watered their flock. 18 When they returned to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come back so soon today?” 19 They said, “An Egyptian helped us against the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock.” 20 He said to his daughters, “Where is he? Why did you leave the man? Invite him to share a meal.” 21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage. 22 She bore a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, “I have been an alien residing in a foreign land.”
Ponder: Why do you think Moses helped the women?
Moses Flees to Midian (Part 3)
Read: Exodus 2:23-25 (NRSVue)
23 After a long time the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery and cried out. Their cry for help rose up to God from their slavery. 24 God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.
Ponder: Why is it so important to know that God hears and cares when we cry?
Moses at the Burning Bush (Part 1)
Read: Exodus 3:1-2 (NRSVue)
3 Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness and came to Mount Horeb,[d] the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.
Ponder: Why do you think God used a burning bush to get Moses’ attention?
Moses at the Burning Bush (Part 2)
Read: Exodus 3:3-6 (NRSVue)
3 Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight and see why the bush is not burned up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Ponder: What do you think Moses might have written in his diary that night?
Moses at the Burning Bush (Part 3)
Read: Exodus 3:7-10 (NRSVue)
7 Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Now go, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”
Ponder: How do you think Moses felt when he heard that God wanted to save the Israelites? How do you think he felt when he heard that God wanted to send him to help with that?
Readings from Luke 1-2 (NRSV Updated Edition)
Today we are going to start reading some stories from the book of Luke. They tell us about things that happened just before Jesus was born. Just like the story of Moses, these stories teach us about how much God loves us and wants to help us when we are in trouble.
The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold (Part 1)
Read: Luke 1:5-7 (NRSVue)
5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7 But they had no children because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.
Ponder: Zechariah and Elizabeth had probably given up on having any children. Have you ever felt like giving up when you waited a long time for something you really wanted? What was that like?
The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold (Part 2)
Read: Luke 1:8-12 (NRSVue)
8 Once when he was serving as priest before God during his section’s turn of duty, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to offer incense. 10 Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified, and fear overwhelmed him.
Ponder: What do you think the angel looked like? Draw a picture.