The people of God are getting closer to their destination. The Lord has told Moses that they can go into the land that the Lord has promised them (Exodus 33:1-12). Whilst this should be wonderful news and a cause for great celebration, the people of God go into mourning (Exodus 33:4). Despite the Lord’s promise of land, the Lord will not go into it with them (Exodus 33:3). Presumably stunned by this declaration from the Lord, Moses intercedes on behalf of the people.
In today’s reading from Exodus 33:12-23, Moses is in intense dialogue with the Lord. Towards the end of the conversation, Moses asks if he could see the Lord’s “glory”. The Lord agrees, but Moses is told that no one can gaze upon the Lord’s face and survive. The Lord makes provision to protect Moses during the encounter by asking Moses to move into a cleft of the rock and then covering him. The glory of the Lord is revealed to Moses, whilst at the same time Moses is shielded from being overcome. This week we will wonder at the presence of the Lord and what the Lord has done to enable us to experience it!
In Paul’s opening to his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul speaks very highly of their faith. Paul talks about how the Spirit convicted them with power and how as a result they became imitators of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6). They were given joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6) and a hope that endured (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). What kind of faith is God calling us to have? This week we will explore together what it means to have faith – faith that is dynamic and life-giving, faith that produces hope and joy.