April 9 - Message Update

Thank you Pastor Rod for the message from Exodus 24:12-18, “Not Just Greet… but Meet.” Our church’s theme is to encourage conversation as we meet one another, toward fellowship, deepening friendship and faith in Jesus. As we think about Palm Sunday and the crowds that greeted Jesus, how many had met Him or truly knew Him? Are we at a stage where we just greet God or do we go the next step and meet with Him? Exodus 24 is about the redemption of God’s people from Egypt’s slavery. For us, it reveals our need for redemption from spiritual slavery where the Ten Commandments are not a guideline for how to live nor is a formula for success, but shows we cannot do it on own. How do we meet with God?

A One Focus  (vv.12-13) 12 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.” Moses was summoned before God to receive the Ten Commandments, where God’s Law was now put on stone, the first reference of tablets is made. Come up to Me, Moses is called for One on one time with God. Often we forget to have our time alone with God and neglect having One on one time with Him. We should remember our time in the Word of God, reflection and prayer. 13 So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God.  Moses takes and trains Joshua, who through discipleship, eventually becomes their leader. Joshua is mentioned for the first time in Exodus 17:9, as he led the Israelites against the Amalekites, and even more prominently in chapter 33 and the tent of meeting …Lord would speak to Moses… Joshua would not depart from the tent. Here Moses takes Joshua but not all the way to the top of the mountain. Being called into the presence of God is difficult to imagine. When we are going to be with important people, we prepare diligently. How do we prepare to meet with God?

 A Done Focus  (v.14) 1But to the elders he said, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them.  Moses leaves structure in place for leading, his brother, Aaron, and Hur, in charge to handle matters in his absence. He did not abandon his responsibilities or duties even as important as meeting with God was. There is a saying about a person who is, “So heavenly minded, they are of no earthly good.” Such a person might be an irritation or seen as lazy and irresponsible. We cannot be so earthly minded that we are of no heavenly good either. It is better said, we must be heavenly minded to be of earthly good. We should live our lives in balance: not life and faith, but life with faith (or having a life of faith). This should be integrated and lived out so people will see our lives properly balanced and focused.

A Son Focus   (vv.15-18) 15 Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. The cloud covered the mountain – the cloud represents God’s glory. The glory of the Lord rested - meaning dwelt, settled (sakar) – where we get God’s “shekinah glory.” John 1:14 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. Jesus Christ is prophesied and mentioned throughout Old Testament Scripture. Everything is in preparation and anticipation for a Savior, the Messiah. on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud - Moses waits patiently for six days, because he knows he will be One on one with God.  He remembers from the beginning being called from the burning bush.  Do we forget our beginnings? How we came to faith in Jesus Christ? 17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the mountain top. 18 Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. Israel sees the glory of God like a consuming fire. We see in this passage the symbols of God’s glory – cloud, fire, a voice. Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights – Moses didn’t just wait six days for God to speak but also was with Him on the mountain for forty days and nights. We live in such an instant society and tend to be impatient, wanting things done fast and quickly. The people were not as patient as we see later in chapter 32, Moses comes down from the mountain to find they have made an idol of a golden calf. Do we worship our own golden calves when we get impatient waiting for God’s answers to our prayers? God gave the Law, the Tabernacle and its furnishings as a picture of God residing with His people, which is of singular importance to Israel. What do we worship? What distracts us from God? What is of singular importance to us? Israel wanted to have a permanent tabernacle, and for now, Christ resides in us.

The Cherry blossoms of Japan are special as they demonstrate the fragility of life. They have a beautiful but short life, reminding us of our life on earth too. All the more we need to remember God’s offer to live with Him for eternity.

Thank you to Vern Hu and team for putting on a very nice indoor picnic at the church on Saturday, April 8th as the original plan to have at a park was changed because of the weather.  


Calendar Items:

4/14        7:00pm           Good Friday Services (English service & Japanese service)

4/16    two services       Easter

4/23   both services       Greetings/sharing from David and Sue Verwey (Japan Mission)

4/23      12:45pm            Mission Team meeting (room 8)

4/29     8am – 2pm         Love East Bay – Spring Serve (Pastor Eric)

4/29     9am – 1pm         Special Camp Aide Training (English sanctuary and kitchen use)

4/30      12:45pm            NAOMI team meeting to prepare prayer letters (room 8)

5/7     both services       Missions Moment – NAOMI House Team

5/14      12:15pm            Mother’s Day Potluck

6/3   10am – 12pm         Special Camp Team Building (English sanctuary)

6/4        12:45pm            NAOMI Team planning meeting 

6/7          9:30pm           Women’s Bible Study Praise Brunch – last meeting before summer.

6/18   both services       Missions Moment – Makoto & Amy

6/18      12:15pm            Father’s Day Potluck

6/24         (t.b.d.)            Fong’s ministry breakfast

6/25      10:45am            JEMS summer camp workers’ commissioning

7/4-7                             Shuyokai

7/2-8                             JEMS Mt. Hermon Summer Camp & Special Camp

7/13-15                         General Assembly at WCCC

7/17-21                         Vacation Bible School

7/21-25                         Brazilian Holy Arts Youth Choir (hosted by LAHC HYC) homebase & concerts at SanLo

7/22-28                         NAOMI House Mission

Have a blessed week in the Lord,

Stan,  for SLZJCC