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Moses and the Passover

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

Welcome to our Service of Holy Communion

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Moses’ Story – Part 3

We meet in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.


Song: Sing wherever I go

Opening Prayer

Almighty God,

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord.


We Say Sorry to God

God our Father,

we come to you in sorrow for our sins.

For turning away from you,

and ignoring your will for our lives;

Father, forgive us:

All save us and help us.

For behaving just as we wish,

without thinking of you;

Father, forgive us:

All save us and help us.

For failing you by what we do,

and think and say;

Father, forgive us:

All save us and help us.

For letting ourselves be drawn away from you

by temptations in the world about us;

Father, forgive us:

All save us and help us.

For living as if we were ashamed

to belong to your Son;

Father, forgive us:

All save us and help us.

The Absolution (Julie)

Almighty God,

who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon you,

pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,

and keep you in life eternal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Collect

Almighty God,

you search us and know us:

may we rely on you in strength

and rest on you in weakness,

now and in all our days;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Song: Way maker

Old Testament Reading: Exodus 12:1-14

The First Passover -read by Jennie

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2 This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4 If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbour in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it.

5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.

11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

Song: Our God is a great big God

Gospel Reading Matt 18:15-20 read by Sandile

Reproving Another Who Sins

15 “If another member of the church[a] sins against you go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.[c]

16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

Sermon: Moses and the Passover

Today we have even more of the story of Moses. And this is one of the greatest yet, saddest ones. All these past events have been leading up to God’s deliverance of the Israelite people from their slavery in Egypt under Pharaoh. In today’s reading we have the last of the 10 plagues and it is the most drastic and devastating. It is only after this plague that Pharaoh will let the Israelites go- this plague touches him personally.

It is The Passover of the Lord.

Enjoy this unusual retelling of the story to music…

Passover Rhapsody

And today’s reading is all about the preparation for the Passover- the being ready to go at a moments notice. They are to keep their sandals on and tuck their cloaks into their belts. They are to eat unleavened bread- no time for it to rise.

After the Passover, such was the scale of the disaster that Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and ordered them all to go, to leave Egypt there and then.

And this was not a small group of people. The Israelites have been slaves for over 400 years in Egypt. The numbers of the Israelites that God saved that night was about 600, 000 men as well as their wives and children. This seems an extraordinary number but a recent post on face book showed some interesting maths

When we think about the last part of this post, the love stories, the difficulties, the hope in the future and the sadness that has led to this moment, it sums up well the extraordinary journey the Israelites have come on. Abraham’s descendants have surely come on a long way since the time of Isaac.

And the number of times God has saved them- has rescued their relationship with him, has kept his side of the covenant challenges our definition of patience.

What I find more challenging is the human cost- the cost of innocent blood shed for Israel’s release.

The only way the Israelites were spared was because they put the blood of the sacrificed lamb across their door lintels and down the sides of the doorframe.

This event of the Passover, is remembered throughout the generations by Jewish people. And this story is re-told in the symbolism of the Seder or Passover meal itself. Further on in this same chapter of Exodus, God commands the Israelites to remember this event as a yearly celebration-passed on throughout history, which is known to day simply as the Passover.

I wonder how many remember when we did this with Morris…and we set the fire alarms off in the portacabin after we lit a candle right at the start!

There is also a cup of salty water that the green herbs are dipped into to represent the tears shed by the Israelites under Egyptian slavery. There is also Matza bread to remind them that there was no time to prove the dough. One significant aspect of the Seder meal is the four cups of wine, which each represent the four promises from God for deliverance in Exodus 6:6-7: “I will bring out,” “I will deliver,” “I will redeem,” and “I will take.”

There is no doubt now that Moses is the leader, and it is his role to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to freedom. Their biggest challenge of crossing the Red sea is still to come.. but for now Moses is leading them away from Pharaoh and towards the Promised Land.

So what does this say about God?

God keeps his promises even if we do not!

God is forgiving-when we come with a truly sorrowful heart

God calls people in their weakness because then it becomes God’s strength.

God is for us whatever the cost…

This deliverance in the OT can be seen again in the NT

It is this meal- the Passover, That Jesus came together with his friends the disciples, to celebrate on Maundy Thursday.

When Jesus celebrated this meal- a whole new meaning was given to the sacrificial lamb- the Lamb of God. The Israelites were saved from the wrath of God by the blood of a lamb spread across the wooden lintel of their door.

We have been saved by the blood of the sacrificial Lamb of God- Jesus, whose blood was shed on a wooden cross- whose life was given to save us and reconcile us with God. The bread shared became the body of Christ broken for us, and the wine the blood of the new covenant with God, shed for us and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

What does it say about us?

Our OT readings have led us on an extraordinary journey with the birth of this new nation God’s chosen people. But these extraordinary events have been brought about by ordinary people- people with a great number of faults doubts, fear and pride being just a few.

We as humanity have always had our faults and weaknesses. From Abraham to Moses, I wonder which of these leaders has really resonated with you and why? Is it their strength or weakness that you have picked up on. On the positive side..

Is it Abraham for his courage to leave all he knew and follow God.

Is it Isaac who never questioned that he might be the sacrifice for God- he just had total faith and trust in him.

Is it Jacob who wrestled with God all night. Jacob who was to become the founder of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Is it Joseph who kept the faith throughout all his hardships.

And Moses-

the one who felt he couldn’t speak to Pharaoh because he wouldn’t have the words and who came through as one of the greatest leaders/prophets who led a nation out of slavery as part of the most extraordinary God story of the OT.

I wonder what weaknesses you have that God could use and equally what are your strengths? If the stories of these ordinary people have told you anything, it is that God calls us just as we are BUT DOESN’T LEAVE US THAT WAY!

While you mull over these questions, listen to the thoughts of our young people on some of these founding members of the faith- From Wilson and Tadiwa's bible study group…

The Creed

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,

from whom every family

in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,

who lives in our hearts through faith,

and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,

who strengthens us

with power from on high.

We believe in one God;

Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our Prayers: Led by Margaret and Sam…

Merciful Father

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.


The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

Song: Every Praise

Holy Communion (Julie)

The Lord be with you

and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

Almighty God, good Father to us all,

your face is turned towards your world.

In love you gave us Jesus your Son

to rescue us from sin and death.

Your Word goes out to call us home

to the city where angels sing your praise.

We join with them in heaven's song

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might

Heaven and earth are full of your glory

Hosanna in the highest

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord

Hosanna in the highest

Father of all, we give you thanks

for every gift that comes from heaven.

To the darkness Jesus came as your light.

With signs of faith and words of hope

he touched untouchables with love and washed the guilty clean.

This is his story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

The crowds came out to see your Son,

yet at the end they turned on him.

On the night he was betrayed

he came to table with his friends

to celebrate the freedom of your people.

This is his story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

Jesus blessed you, Father, for the food;

he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and said:

This is my body, given for you all.

Jesus then gave thanks for the wine;

he took the cup, gave it and said:

This is my blood, shed for you all

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this in remembrance of me.

This is our story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

Therefore, Father, with this bread and this cup

we celebrate the cross

on which he died to set us free.

Defying death he rose again

and is alive with you to plead for us and all the world.

This is our story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

Send your Spirit on us now

that by these gifts we may feed on Christ

with opened eyes and hearts on fire.

May we and all who share this food

offer ourselves to live for you

and be welcomed at your feast in heaven

where all creation worships you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

Blessing and honour and glory and power

be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s prayer

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.


We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many we are one body because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God

have mercy on us.

Jesus bearer of our sins,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,

grant us peace.

Draw near with faith.

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you.

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,

for all the benefits you have given me,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,

may I know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen

The Blessing

The peace of God,

which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds

in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.


Song: The Blessing (with signing)

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.

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