The Mission of God: The Way of God and the Way of Empire

Last week’s sermon notes. 

Warning: videos contain a few strong words. 

Exodus 5:1-9

5:1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.” And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!” The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”

The Exodus story is one in which God hears the cries of a people and rescues them from an oppressive empire.
 
God gives these people a great mission, which make their lives worth something rather than just making bricks to make towers to bring honor to an evil emperor.
 
Part of this mission to make sure that food is plentiful for everyone including the illegal immigrant, the widow and the orphan (Exodus 22:21-23).
 
He also promises them a weekly day of rest, food and celebration (Exodus 20:8-11).  
 
He even promises them an amazing thing called Jubilee (Exodus 23:10-11; Deut. 15:1-6).
 
How do the people respond?
 
First, the people turn on Moses & Aaron! (Exodus 5:21)
 
Later, they complain about the lack of creature comforts provided by the Empire (Exodus 16:3).
 
Too many people today, even those in the church, believe that “reality is making bricks” and Christianity is just another item in a shopping cart. They may go to church out of fear of hell or because they want their children to be moral or because they are looking for friends or a spouse.  To many, church is a place like Wal-Mart where you go to get something. 

Yet, God describes His people as a rescued group given a great mission.  Sound like the church to you?
 
So, what if we dared to do something different?
 
Have you heard of Bansky? He’s an anonymous graffiti artist in England. With a few cans of spray paint he creates powerful commentaries on society that leaves an indelible impression. 

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How many churches make such an impact?

Yet, Jesus did.

Why doesn’t his church do the same?  Because its not on mission.  His people are too busy making bricks for an empire that doesn’t care for them.  They are too worried that if they leave the empire behind it will cost them too many creature comforts.

But what if a community who loved Jesus took this mission seriously and undertook it in his name today? What would it look like?  What impact would it have?
 

 
Tomorrow doesn’t have to be like today.

Posted by Matt, Revolution Leadership Team.

Revolution: Worship, Grow, Serve.

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