In times together and times apart, we celebrate God’s presence in all creation, in stories of our past and dreams for the future, our despair and praying.

Central to the texts that close out the final season of the church year is the promise that the liberating spirit of God, who breathes life into all creation, remains at work. This week, as we watch life- sustaining water gush from a rock, we are encouraged to persevere in trusting God’s provision in difficult times.

September 27 – God’s Sustaining Presence

Exodus 17:1–7 The people of Israel are still wandering in the wilderness, led by Moses and Aaron. In the reading last week, the hungry community called out for food and were fed day by day with manna. Now they are camped at Rephidim and need water.

Read Exodus 17:1–7 or Listen to the audio story “Surprise” or gather around as someone tells the story “God Gives Us What We Need.”

God Gives Us What We Need

A long time ago, the people of Israel left their homes in Egypt and travelled far, far away to a new land. They followed their leader, Moses. Each night the people set up a camp to rest and sleep. But one time when they stopped at a campsite, that had no water to drink. The people went to their leader, Moses, and said, We’re thirsty. We’re thirsty.”

But still, there was no water. The people went to Moses again and said, We’re thirsty. We’re thirsty.” Every day, the people said, We’re thirsty. We’re thirsty.”

Moses was upset because the people kept asking for water. Moses prayed to God, “What am I to do?” The people are angry! They keep saying to me, “We’re thirsty. We’re thirsty.”

God said to Moses, “Take your walking stick and go to the big rock.” The people went with Moses to see what God would do. All the way to the big rock, the people complained, saying, We’re thirsty. We’re thirsty.”

When everyone reached the rock, Moses took the stick and hit the rock. What do you think happened next?

Suddenly water came gushing out – clean, good water for all the people to drink. Water from the rock! What an amazing thing! What a wonderful surprise God gave to the people! The people drank and drank until they could not drink another sip of water. They knew that God was still with them, and God would provide what they needed.

After that, the people did not have to say, We’re thirsty. We’re thirsty.” Instead, they could say, “Thank you, God, for the gift of water.”

Wonder together about how people felt when there was no water to drink 

What are some contemporary stories about life-giving water?

Where are people crying out for safe water today?

Print “God’s Gift of Water.” Follow the instructions to make a prayer mobile.

Listen to the song along to “All We Long For” (available as an MP3 for purchase and download) as you pray for people in your community, country, the world who seek freedom, shelter, food, water, peace.

Something to ponder:

As we live between frustration and hope, we call out to God and our human leaders. We long to know we will be heard, and there will be a response. Assured by Christ, we can be confident of God’s sustaining presence.

What does it mean to trust in God amid test and struggle?
How might we support one another as we grow in trust of God’s compassion and provision?

Seasons of the SpiritTM SeasonsFusion • Pentecost 2 2020 Copyright © Wood Lake Publishing Inc. 2020