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Moses: Part 5 Bread from Heaven

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We meet in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.


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:

save us and help us.

For behaving just as we wish,

without thinking of you;

Father, forgive us:

save us and help us.

For failing you by what we do,

and think and say;

Father, forgive us:

save us and help us.

For letting ourselves be drawn away from you

by temptations in the world about us;

Father, forgive us:

save us and help us.

For living as if we were ashamed

to belong to your Son;

Father, forgive us:

save us and help us.

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

Lord God,

defend your Church from all false teaching

and give to your people knowledge of your truth,

that we may enjoy eternal life

in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Old Testament Reading: Exodus 16:2-15 read by Sarah

And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against the LORD. For what are we, that you grumble against us?”

8 And Moses said, “When the LORD gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the LORD has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the LORD.”

9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. 11 And the LORD said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’”

13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.

Song: I am the bread of Life

Gospel Reading Matthew 20:1-16 read by Theresa

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard.

2 After agreeing with the labourers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ 5 So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’

8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the labourers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Sermon: Moses’ Story Part 5: Bread from Heaven

Last week was the great story of God’s rescue - taking his people from slavery to freedom, through the waters of the Red Sea – God Rescues.

This week is the account of God providing food for his people in the wilderness – God provides.

However, we saw something of it last week and this week, it’s written loud and clear. The story could be called- and everyone moaned.

What about all this grumbling?

What do we make of all the moaning that’s going on? The people have escaped from slavery to freedom- shouldn’t they be happy? They rejoiced in the last chapter!

But now we’re a few weeks on- perhaps into the second month of walking in the desert. The euphoria of the first escape is over; the terror and excitement of getting through the sea is forgotten. Now there is just day after day of long, hard, hot walking.

The trouble with being a slave is that you have no control. You have to do whatever someone else tells you. And so if there’s difficulty or hardship- you know exactly who to blame. But here, as free people, they are on their own with just Moses and Aaron and God to lead them. So the people treated them as they had their old leaders.

It’s your fault; we were better off in Egypt (they definitely weren’t) – and you did this to kill us!

The people are still thinking like slaves. They need to learn to take responsibility for themselves. And to trust God.

The people need to learn that there is no quick fix. They’re in this for the long haul. Grumblers want to give up.

It scary to take responsibility; it’s frightening to not know what’s going to happened next.

But God is still there for them- and has provided Aaron and Moses to lead them.

And just a word for all those who are parents, workers, carers, anyone who has any responsibility for anything or anyone. Don’t expect to be thanked- all of the time.

I think it was particularly tough for Moses and Aaron.. Yes they had seen miracles- and been specially selected for this job. Of course God was with them- and their names go down in history for all time for what they have done. But each day? I bet it was tough. Not knowing the end from the beginning; being undermined constantly by those they cared for… does any of this sound familiar?

I guess there is a warning about not seeking fame or power or leadership to make us feel good. Because, if we do it right, it probably won’t feel great all of the time.

But where is God?

God sees, God hears and God provides…

What does God providing look like? Well – God’s provision came with some clear instructions. The people were to go out and collect enough for each day. There’s a immediate connection for us who pray Give us today our daily bread . God’s provision was enough for each day; and there was enough left over for the seventh day.

God gives us what we need. That’s why we pray for daily bread. We don’t get daily cake; God gives us what we need.

But they needed to go out and get it. They had to collect the manna and the quails; they had work to do. God’s provision might drop out of the sky for them but it doesn’t fall into their laps. Our efforts and God’s provision go together.

God provides and also teaches us.

I’ve prayed more honestly and fervently during lock down than I have done for a long time. There have been some big scary issues for people I love- that I could do nothing about. So I’ve prayed for what we need. And seen God provide answers. God has taught me that he’s faithful; that when I can’t see a way out, he can find one; God has taught me to persist in prayer..

God taught the people as they cried out. Firstly- they were to cry out to Him. They complained against Moses but they were heard by God. We are to take our needs to God.

God gave them what they needed- though not perhaps what they expected.

So they learnt that God provides.

But God also laid down another principle. There was anough on the sixth day for the seventh. Day 7 was going to become their Sabbath or worship day. God met their needs so they had enough to worship him. God meets our physical needs but also our spiritual need. They needed to worship God and have their faith grown just as much as they needed the daily food.

And just to remind them all- the pillar of cloud reappeared, showing that God was there with them.

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.

This time tomorrow:

Our Prayers: Led by Moji

Blessed are you God our Creator.

We thank you that you have lovingly created the beauty and balance of this world, for within creation are the glimpses of your true glory. Help us to respect this earth and use its resources carefully and lovingly so that the needs of the poor will be met. We thank you that you provide food for our daily needs. We pray for all who are struggling at this time to provide food for their families and we ask your blessing on our foodbank volunteers and on all who support this charity.

Loving Father

Hear us

We ask your blessing on all who hunger and thirst for righteousness and the coming of your kingdom. We pray for all who suffer from spiritual hunger, for those whose lives feel empty and meaningless. May your church help to witness that this world belongs to you and help bring the Good News of the Gospel to areas of deprivation or oppression. We ask your blessing on all who you have called to go out on mission and preach your word.

Loving Father

Hear us

Loving Father, our country is struggling to survive economically with the effects of the coronavirus. Please be with all who are employers that they may not abuse or mistreat their workforce. We pray for all who have lost their jobs at this time that they manage to rise above this and believe in their own self- worth. We pray for those who are striving to bring about fair trade.

Loving Father

Hear us

Creator God we thank you for our homes and families and all who have provided for us in the past. We pray for those who work to provide us with what we need and we continue to pray for all the key workers whose efforts have kept this country running at this time. We also pray for a better sharing of the world’s resources, that governments and multi- national companies will not prioritise greed over giving.

We also pray for our schools trying to keep the flow of our children’s education going- for all teachers and other support staff.

Loving Father

Hear us

Lord of all healing, we pray for our NHS at this time. For all who have given so much to help us control this virus. We pray that they may find some peace and restoration within themselves as they prepare for the winter months ahead. We pray for all who are suffering ill health at this time and especially for all who are still awaiting hospital treatment which has been delayed due to the pandemic.

Loving Father

Hear us

Lord God, Father Son and Spirit, we give thanks that in you we have life and life eternal. We give you thanks that in the resurrection we have been given the chance to start anew. We remember before you all our loved ones who have gone on ahead, who rejoice now in the fellowship of all your saints.

Merciful Father

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son

Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

Holy Communion

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.

It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;

in your love you made us for yourself.

When we turned away

you did not reject us,

but came to meet us in your Son.

You embraced us as your children

and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

In Christ you shared our life

that we might live in him and he in us.

He opened his arms of love upon the cross

and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.

On the night he was betrayed,

at supper with his friends

he took bread, and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to them, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his body is the bread of life.

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,

he gave you thanks, and said:

Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;

do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his blood is shed for all.

As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,

send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine

may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.

As we eat and drink these holy gifts

make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

With your whole Church throughout the world

we offer you this sacrifice of praise

and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

We continue with the words of 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. Amen

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.

Every time we eat this bread

and drink this cup,

we proclaim the Lord’s death

until he comes.

God’s holy gifts

for God’s holy people.

Jesus Christ is holy,

Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Song during Communion Here is Bread

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: Great is thy faithfulness

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.

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