The Story of Scripture: Wilderness
Exodus 16, Colossians 1:15-20, Luke 23:32-42
Have you ever been to a sporting event where there was so much anticipation and excitement that even before the game starts, the spectators are cheering and jeering, clapping and fist pumping, going nuts…and if on broad and pattison, sometimes waving towels in the air?
Perhaps you have been to a game where the Cheers at a football game were quickly quieted
Today’s story of God providing for his people in the wilderness can be seen through the lens of preparing for a football game.
1-4 The grim reality
--45th day of desert travel (what is the longest time of travel that
you have experienced?)
--slavery: all we did was sit around pots of food and eat all we
Football analogy: sometimes the other team scores first.
4-8 the game plan
--Gather enough for one day says the Lord
--see if they can follow my instructions (the idea of test)
--honoring the Sabbath
--morning will show you God’s glory and evening will teach
you that God has rescued you from the land of Egypt.
--you will know God’s provision
--grumbling is to be taken directly to God
Football analogy: Sunday’s game happens because coaches homework
9-16 communicating the game plan
--Aaron, God’s mouthpiece, speaks to the community
--God starts to make himself known
--God lets Israel know that he heard their grumbling
--Then Israel will know the Lord is God.
--the food appears
--What is it? The people wonder.
--They take what they need.
Football analogy: coaches coach and players play.
17-18 the result
--Israel does what it is told
--Some gather much…and some little
--those who had much—not too much
--those who had little—not too little
--Each one gathered as much as they needed.
Football analogy: sometimes the coaches know what they are talking about.
19-20 the fumble
--the warning: don’t keep it until morning
--and some do not listen
Football analogy: takes the life/momentum out of team.
21-26 Driving down the field
--people adjust and do what is required
--gather each morning, twice as much for Sabbath
Football analogy: most of the time, you score because of sustained drives
27-29 another fumble
--don’t listen about Sabbath portion
--fool me once shame on you.
--God addresses the problem: How long will you refuse to
listen to my commands?
Football analogy: you might get benched if you repeat your mistakes
--the people find rest
--the people become comfortable with God’s provision
--the people appreciate where they have arrived, and come
football analogy: the whole team celebrates when you reach the endzone.
Handing the ball back to ref or a touchdown dance, everyone is
33-34 reviewing the game
--keep some of God’s provision as a testimony to God.
Football analogy: gametape helps you take pleasure in victories and learn
35-36 the rest of the season
--ate this for 40 years as they traveled through the wilderness
and prepared to enter the promised land.
Football analogy: whether victorious or defeated, it is only one game. You
move on to next week’s challenge.
Christ the King Sunday:
The last week of the Church calendar. Next week is Advent, the Christian new year. The church calendar teaches followers about the life of Christ, and the final act of Christ is his reign as resurrected and ascended King.
--This Sunday is actually a recent addition to the church calendar: 1925 by Pope Pius.
--It does complete the idea of life, baptism, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, reign
--realm has started to replace reign. Stemming from a faulty misunderstanding of reign: because kings can present negative images, we shouldn’t call upon Christ as King.
Who is this King of Glory? Jesus Christ.
The image of the invisible God: the invisible God made visible.
Firstborn over all creation
Creator of all things
Before all things and all things held together in him.
Head of body, the church, firstborn from the dead
Supreme in everything
God pleased to have all his fullness in Christ
Reconciler of all things through the cross and peace by his blood.
The majority of the references to Jesus as King in the bible occur in the Passion Week narratives. Christ is seen as king not because of policy or proclamation, but by giving himself on the cross.
Looking at the Cross Story through the lens of King:
Christ led to cross by the humanity he came to save.
Taking on sin and its shame: between two criminals
Offering prayers of forgiveness for humanity
Being mocked, despite his infinite goodness
Being given earthly accolades of kingship, even if as form of mockery.
The situation troubles one of the criminals, but out of the Lord’s rule, even when dying, came salvation.
The king knows where he is going.
Wilderness is the model for this world: it is wilderness, rough and tough, beautiful and trying, lacking resources and life all around. You can’t escape it, and avoiding it moves you further from everlasting life. So you have to embrace it and plow through it on the way to the reward. The reward of surviving wilderness is promised land. For the Hebrews, this meant the land of Israel. For followers of Christ, this means the kingdom of God.