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EXODUS Session 8: Liturgy, Passover, Liberation and the Exodus.

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Presentation on theme: "EXODUS Session 8: Liturgy, Passover, Liberation and the Exodus."— Presentation transcript:

1 EXODUS Session 8: Liturgy, Passover, Liberation and the Exodus

2 Last Session in Review Last week we… –Discussed the remaining plagues Three = Gnats Four = Flies Five = Pestilence on Livestock Six = Boils Seven = Hail Eight = Locusts Nine = Darkness –Read the warning of the tenth plague

3 Questions, Comments or Smart Remarks?

4 Before we get into the Story… We need to pause for a moment to consider the question: Why do we worship? (Let’s look at a few common answers / images.)

5 Why do we worship? For some, worship is a time / place to “recharge” –After a week of work and feeling depleted of “spiritual energy,” some people want to come to worship to recharge their “spiritual batteries.”

6 Why do we worship? For others, worship is about “centering” oneself –After a week of distractions, worship brings people back to what matters most

7 Why do we worship? Still for others, worship is a matter of piety that is just part and parcel of what it means to be Christian –Whether they “get anything out of it” is inconsequential. It is just the right thing to do.

8 Why do we worship? The image I like best comes from the Orthodox Church (not their language, though): worship plugs us into God’s story, the church’s story, and each other’s story

9 Why do we worship? In other words, in an Orthodox worship service, they understand that time and space collapse and they join in the eternal worship of God The issue of TIME here is important

10 The Significance of Liturgy Liturgy comes from a Greek word which mean “work of the people” Refers to our common, communal, ancient patterns of worship

11 The Significance of Liturgy Liturgy is a powerful way to connect ourselves into that eternal worship It is not surprising, then, that LITURGICAL MATERIALS surround the Exodus account.

12 The Significance of Liturgy Liturgical Materials Bookend the section extending from 12:1 – 15:21 –12:1-27 = Liturgical instructions for Passover –15:1-21 = Liturgical psalms

13 Which Came First? This has prompted the question among many scholars: which came first, the liturgy or the literature? –Certainly one has shaped the other over time

14 Take Notice! Pay attention to the way the texts we read today are both: –Set in time AND timeless –Spoken to the Israelites then AND now

15 The Book of Exodus Intermission Exodus 12:1-28

16 Intermission This first half of this chapter separates the announcement of the final plague from the plague itself Narratively, it makes us WAIT just like Pharaoh.

17 Instructions for the Passover Also provides the first extended narrative (and commandment) of the LORD in Exodus The instructions for the institution of the First Passover are extremely liturgical

18 Instructions for the Passover Among other things, the word “you” is used a lot here…but to whom does this refer? What do you think the significance is of children being involved?

19 Instructions for the Passover Just an interesting side note: the two Hebrew terms “Passover” (pesach) and “pass over” (abar) are not related linguistically. Only in English translations do they appear to be equivalent.

20 The Book of Exodus The TENTH Plague Exodus 12:29-39 DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN

21 The TENTH Plague We resume the plague narrative This plague is told in strikingly stark and brief terms Pharaoh’s response is of defeat –Notice the verbs! –Worship = lit. “serve” (as in accept a new servitude)

22 The TENTH Plague “Rameses to Succoth” (see map) How many??? –Given typical age and gender distribution would come close to 2 Million people! –Hyperbolic or Symbolic?

23 The TENTH Plague “A mixed crowd” –Suggests that it was not just Israelites who were freed, but a big mish-mash of liberated folk –Israel not yet an “ethnic group”? –Would explain some of the directions of the Passover, which follows

24 The Book of Exodus Instructions for the Passover and Consecration of the Firstborn Exodus 12:40 – 13:16

25 Passover and Consecration of the Firstborn Liturgy again interrupts the storyline Importance of the “firstborn” Again, note the intergenerational character of these rituals

26 The Book of Exodus God Leads the Israelites Exodus 13:17-22

27 God Leads the Israelites Why doesn’t God just pave the road to the Promised Land? –God still seems constrained by human weakness and fear

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