Numbers 11-12

Good morning! Starting today (Numbers 11-12) and going for fifteen chapters, we’ll be traveling in the wilderness with the Hebrews until they are on the cusp of Canaan (the final ten chapters). This middle third of Numbers generally describes rebellions against Israelite leaders through the wilderness. A common theme is the anger and judgment of God against mistrusting Israelites, while in Numbers 12 we perceive how the writer(s) of Numbers want us to understand the relationships between Miriam, Aaron and Moses.

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Numbers 8-10

Good morning! Well, to this point in Numbers all the details have been assigned, the leaders designated and the gifts given, so today’s chapters (8-10) describe the final preparations and the first setting-out of the tabernacle. According to the Priestly tradition, this is what it looks like when the people are in lockstep with God’s commands, and God consents to be visibly with the people.

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A Community of Generosity and Joy

Community United Church of Christ (Saint Paul Park, Minnesota)

Scripture: Mark 10:17-31

Listen online.

Anju is a 19-year-old woman who lives in India. Whereas most women of Anju’s age are thinking about career, wedding, and friends, Anju has decided to take vows and become a Jain nun. Before she does so, she must pass three tests. She must experience the closeness of her family, then renounce them. She must be dressed as a bride in the most beautiful attire, then let all the finery go. She must be adored by thousands, then prove her indifference to pain and beauty. We’ll see her experience as one of four profiles in the Belief video after worship today.[1]

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Numbers 1-2

Good morning! Today we start the book of Numbers, which (despite its title) actually holds some interesting narratives alongside lists of people, tribes and instructions. The Hebrew name for this book is more suggestive, meaning something like, “Into the Wilderness”. This book begins at Mount Sinai and ends near the Jordan River entry into Canaan, after almost four decades of wandering in the wilderness (a trip that would not have taken nearly as long if they had been going directly). Along the way we are treated to stories of miracles, more grumbling in the wilderness, divine judgment, and other fodder for reflection. I’m looking forward to it—certainly more than Leviticus! 🙂

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