A Pandemic Wilderness and Beyond, Worship Series by Rev Dr Richard Chung
A Sermon Series by Rev Dr Ricahrd Chung based on the Book of EXODUS.
Exodus has inspired HOPE and RESILIENCE in people of many backgrounds.
COVID-19 requires you to stay in your home and physically distanced from others to make sure you, your family and community are safe. It may feel like inaction, so for the next weeks we invite you to use the time for reflection. We will all be experinecing “coming out of slavery into freedom”.
We are not enslaved like the Isralites but we may well be enslaved to our computers, our egos, or the thoughts of others. It is a chance for us all to refocus priorities and journey.
Worship/Sermon Series: The Book of Exodus
April 26 to June 28, 2020
Sermon Series Title: The Ultimate Wilderness Survival Guide:
“How to SurviveThrive in Pandemic Wilderness Journey and Beyond”
Series Synopsis: The COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis can overwhelm us and fill us with a deep fear. Whether we are Christians, Religious, Non-Religious, Spirtual, churched or unchurched, it is critical for us to be able to identify ourselves with a much broader frame of reference than the immediate crisis situation we find ourselves in. So as not to get bogged down into the current crisis with a narrow tunnel vision and becoming reactive, but able to see the situation we face on a much broader and higher plane of existence and journey that we are called to be on.
As Christians, we turn to the Bible as the main frame of reference to guide us in times of crisis. Through this sermon series on the Book of Exodus, we will examine what the Israelites went through in their wilderness journey as lessons to help us to reframe and chart this uncertain Pandemic Wilderness Journey we face today and beyond.
The series, “The Ultimate Wilderness Survival Guide: How to SurviveThrive in Pandemic Wilderness Journey and Beyond”, I believe, will be very relevant for all of us irregardless of religious orientation, experience and beliefs, as we are all in it together. So, let’s get ready to pack and journey together. We’d be very glad to have you join us.
See you all virtually Sundays at 10:30 am on this website,
An OUTLINE of what we will be pondering:
April 26: Exodus 12:33-41: The Beginning of Exodus
Title:“Pack Light and Carry Only Essential Items” (clixk here to view) The Exodus journey took the Israelites 40 years. It was a marathon, not a dash. Also, the Israelites had only one day to pack and move out of Egypt. They were in so much hurry to leave, that they didn’t even have time to fix food for the journey (Exodus 12:39).
Our wilderness journey (our life journey or Pandemic) will be long and winding. And this Pandemic crisis doesn’t give us much time for us to pack – only the essential items. We must pack light and carry only essential items. Question: What essential items will you pack and carry on your Pandemic Wilderness Journey and Beyond? If you pack too heavy, you will drag the journey for everyone. And, — you might be left behind.
May 3: Exodus 13: 17-22: The Pillar of Cloud and Fire
Title: “Follow the Guide” (click here to view) Moses guided the Israelites through their Exodus wilderness journey. Who will guide your wilderness journey? Who will you listen to and follow in your own pandemic wilderness journey and beyond? Question: Who will navigate your journey?
The Exodus wilderness journey tested the Israelites. They were without the water to drink after 3 days in the wilderness. And they complained bitterly to Moses and to God, saying “why did you bring us out of Egypt?” Similarly, we are being tested in our pandemic wilderness, where we are left with only a few options and access to everything we took for granted. The living has become very inconvenient. And it will continue well beyond the present moment. So, how are you dealing with many inconveniences right now? Are you complaining a lot or trying to adapt to a new reality? To thrive in our pandemic wilderness, we must stop complaining and start embracing the inconvenience. Tip: Inconvenience is a path to innovation, if and when we begin to get unstuck from our bitterness.
God provided and nurtured the Israelites with a heavenly bread every day in their 40 years of Exodus wilderness journey. God gave them their daily bread, Manna. It was their life source that fed them always! But they complained and were ungrateful. What is your daily bread, that sustains, nurtures, satisfies, and feeds your body, mind and soul during this pandemic period? What (who) is that something you have overlooked in the past, but now you are much more aware of, that you have grown to appreciate and cherish more ever than? Jesus said, the kingdom of God is like “a treasure hidden in a dirt.”
May 24: Exodus 17:1-7: Facing the Amalek
Title: “Srike the Rock” (click here to view) “How will you defeat your enemies in your wilderness journey?” God led the Israelites into the wilderness of Rephidim. And they were thirsty for water, but there wasn’t a drop of water in sight. So, they complained and quarrelled against Moses, and tested God. So, God told Moses to strike the rock with the staff for, “water will gush out of it and the people will drink.” (verse 6, the Message). God sometimes lead us to a place of hardship and pain, not to torture us, but to test us and train us, through a wilderness boot camp, to draw us near to God. So, how are you dealing with your own wilderness boot camp?
May 31: Pentecost (Communion) Acts 2:1-13
Title:Pentecost Sunday “Wind and Fire” (click here to view) On the Pentecost day, 50 days after Jesus was ascended to heaven, when the disciples of the Risen Jesus gathered in one place to pray and waiting for the promise of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came powerfully upon them with the wind and fire and changed them dramatically. From then, they went out and became the witness of Jesus Christ by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. On that day, the Church of Jesus Christ was born. The Holy Spirit is coming to us powerfully even now, to change us and equip us to face and overcome every and all barriers in our pandemic wilderness and beyond. The time is ripe for the people of God to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to fill the people with the message of hope, love and peace in their wilderness journey.
June 7: Exodus 17:8-16
Title: “Lift Up Your Stick” (click here to view) Moses led the Israelites for 40 years, overcoming many challenges and enemies in the wilderness. He didn’t have much leadership skill or talent to be a good leader. But God chose him and gave him a stick, and Moses used his stick to lead the people during Exodus journey. What will you use to face and defeat your worst challenges and enemies in your wilderness journey? Like Moses, all we need is a stick (or a twig) in our hands to thrive in our wilderness journey and beyond. So, just lift up your stick (or a twig, if you prefer).
June 14: Exodus 18:1-27 (Jethro visits Moses)
Title: “Learn from Your Jethros” (click here to view) Moses got overwhelmed with many responsibilities while leading the Israelites in their Exodus journey. When God sent Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, to his aid, Moses welcomed and learned from him. We all need to learn from wise mentors like Jethro to coach us and help us to see a bigger picture. So, who are your Jethros in your pandemic wilderness journey?
June 21: Exodus 20:1-17 (the Ten Commandments)
Title: “Decide Your Non-Negotiables” (click here to view) God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments – the new rules for the new people in the new world. They helped guide them to live in harmony with God and one another. They were non-negotiables for their wellbeing. In our post Pandemic wilderness, we need a new set of rules to help navigate our new normal. What will your non-negotiables be that will help guide your new normal?
June 28: Exodus 32:1-35
Title: “Choose Holy God or Holy Cow” (click here to view) The Israelites made a golden calf and made offerings and worship before it while Moses was away in the mountain Sinai to receive the new rules and laws from God. Moses came down from the mountain and smashed the idol and said, “Whoever is on God’s side, join me.” (31:26). In our Pandemic wilderness journey, we must choose between Holy God or Holy Cow.