Sunday morning worship at Synod: Hope in the exodus

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The second day of business of the 44th Annual Meeting of the Synod of WA opened with worship and communion.

Rev John Dunn, Past Moderator of the Uniting Church WA lit the Christ candle and opened the service.

Robert Watson, also a Past Moderator of the Uniting Church WA, and Chair of the UnitingCare Forum, delivered the proclamation on Exodus 14: 10-31 – the story of Moses parting the Red Sea.

The reading, Robert said, is about oppression followed by liberation.

“On a spiritual level this is absolutely timeless,” he said. “Who of us haven’t felt oppressed?

“Exodus seems, to me, to be the seminal chapter of what was to become the greatest story ever told: How God gave us, and through Jesus, and is still giving us, a way out of our captivity.”

The chapter is a story of great hope.

“As Christians, the exodus story gives us hope as it shows continual involvement in our life, and in the life of our community and our world. Surely this is a reason for hope.

“It is the belief or conviction that our present reality does not exhaust the potentialities of the given data. A hope that opens the present to the future.

“A hope that says that tomorrow can be better than today.”

Robert said that it is easy to read this story as saying that when we are in dire straits we should put all of our faith in God and passively wait for God to save us. But, he said, a closer reading gives us a different view.

“A closer look at the story leads to the opposite conclusion; one that stresses the importance of human agency in bringing hope to fruition.”

“We fulfill God’s hope for the world when we act in Godly ways.

“God stands ready to help, but only after Moses takes the first step.

“The story of Exodus reminds us that growth is always possible.

“As the Uniting Church, we affirm that we belong to the people of God on the way to the promised end. We are companions on the journey, breaking bread and sharing life. We believe in the love of our God.

“The battle between God and Pharaoh is only the beginning.

“I ask you this morning, do you dare to overflow with hope? And even more, do you dare to act on that hope?”

Members also took part in Holy Communion which was shared in single serve packets which met COVID-19 restriction guidelines.

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