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“How quickly we forget”

Adams United Methodist Church Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church Pastor Missy McCarthy Music: Sue& Craig Gamet, Mike Tyo, Sharon DelSignore

October 11, 2020 19th Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture: Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 Exodus 32:1-14

Children’s Moment: Do you ever make a list? What about filling an agenda book for school? Do you have to use those? Have you tried to skip using those in school? What happens? Often times we forget important things when we don’t write them down or have them right in front of us to see. That is kind of what was going on with the Israelites. Moses had gotten the Ten Best Ways to live or the Ten Commandments. Then he shared them with the people and went back on the mountain to learn more. He was gone for a long time. He was gone for forty days. It was so long the people were afraid he died. They were scared God forgot them and weren’t sure if God was there. They couldn’t see God, and couldn’t see Moses and were frustrated. In the middle of doing all their other chores and work they seemed to forget the ten rules Moses told them to remember but hadn’t yet written down for them. In the middle of their fear and anxious they forgot God was still with them because they couldn’t see God. Are there times that you forget things when you are nervous or scared? Are there times when you are thinking about other things and forget what you are supposed to be doing? Perhaps there are times when you just don’t think something is important? God wants us to remember to always put God first and ask God for help at those times and then the other things will come in order. Sometimes we need our lists, sometimes we need to remember to love our neighbor, but we always need to remember to put God first. Let’s pray together.

Reflection: “How quickly we forget” How many times have you gone into the other room and forgotten what you were going for? What about going to the grocery store and forgetting something you were supposed to grab? Even if it is only three items on the lists! When we are stressed, over worked, and frustrated we tend to forget more things. As stress increases memory function decreases so many of us have found our forgetfulness increasing in the last six to eight months depending on your job or family life situations. The people of Israel had been used to the people of Egypt having “gods” that had representatives that they could see. They had reminders of their “gods” around them all the time. It gave them comfort especially when they were scared. They believed the golden or silver or even wooden representative had part of the god living in it so the god was present with them. They wanted that assurance again. They longed for things to go back to “normal” and the way it was. They wanted that assurance, that feeling. Sound familiar? Here they were in the middle of the desert at the base of a mountain gathering quail and mana and fearing this mountain that they were not supposed to go up or they may die. Moses had been gone for forty days and they wanted a god they could see, and touch and they weren’t sure if Moses was dead. They desperately wanted “normal.” Part of them was still desiring the comfort of the life they had left behind even though they had left it for a good reason. It was a hard life and something they needed to leave. Yahweh had given them new life and Moses had led them through the water and the desert so far, but after forty days they were done. It is hard learning to live in a new way. It is a struggle to find a new you in the middle of the mess. It is so much more comfortable to go back to the disfunction and the flawed and broken way of doing things because at least you knew how to do it, and what was expected. You could see it, you knew it, and it was comfortable – like an old shoe. But sometimes those old shoes just need to be thrown out all ready. God sees what is happening with the people and is furious. He had just finished writing down those commandments the people had just agreed to the verbal agreement forty days ago how dare they go back on it! He was still feeding them, had provided for them and gotten them out of a bad situation and here they were praying to a tiny golden calf! The little toy couldn’t do anything if you lit it on fire! (Which Moses does by the way). You can feel the frustration. God is frustrated with the people. They can’t seem to remember all that God has done for them even for a short time. Moses is frustrated at having to stand in the gap between a people who can’t keep it together and are constantly turning on him and God and yet crying out for help and God. A people who know they can’t keep doing what they are doing (slavery, being slaughtered, etc) but find change so painful and hard that it scares them and he loves so much. A people that are his people. Moses also has God who is so frustrated with these people that God loves so dearly he is ready to throw it all in and start a fresh with a remanent of one on the other side. Moses boldly stands in that gap. The frustration is palpable, and as long as you are not in it almost funny….and yet we are standing in it. It looks a bit different and yet we are all in the middle of that very same frustration. So dear friends where are you in the story this morning? Are you standing in the gap with Moses this morning? Are you the frustrated people? Desperate to hold onto some semblance of normal and needing to just touch and feel and see something – wondering where is God? Are you so tired of fighting you wish you could just start from scratch? Where are you in the story this morning? What have you forgotten? What do you need to write down? Perhaps you could write some gentle reminders around your home this week to remind yourself of God’s promises or your promises to God, which ever you need the most help remembering.

Additional Readings Monday – Exodus 20 Tuesday – Exodus 24 Wednesday – Exodus 32:1-14 Thursday – Exodus 32:15-34 Friday – Philippians 4:1-9 Saturday – Matthew 22:1-14

Announcements and Updates • Men’s Bible study on Acts on Tuesday (Oct 20) at 7:00 pm please join us. One hour – We will be reviewing Exodus 1-3. • Yarn/Fiber ministry will meet Tuesday at 6:00 in the Children’s Room to work on prayer shawls/blankets. Same rules as church, and you must clean the space on your way out. • Thursday – 10:00 am Bible Study on Acts 9 and 10. • Prayer group/Bible Study on Acts – Thursday evening at 7:00 pm, please be ready to discuss Acts 26, 27 and 28. • October 13, No men’s Bible Study, and SSUMC Council Meeting at 7:00 pm • October 16th 6:00pm Adams Council meeting. • October 18th 7:00pm Zoom review of Safe Sanctuary Policy for Churches Adams and SSUMC (about 30 - 45 min at most including a quick breakout for each church to do things for just their church). • October 22, 7pm Charge conference with Zoom and in person options for both churches at Adams. • We are still Collecting Red Bird Mission Boxes. They are due back November 1. If you would like yours, we have some more, and I can drop them off to you if you need me to. • November 3 Election day Lasagna drive thru dinner from 4-when we run out. • November 8 Safe Sanctuary training 1-4 • If you are willing to read scripture Sue Gamet can record you over the phone for the services!