This is our Sunday School lesson for our Holy Sherlock group (grade 4 – 6) or anyone who would like to learn some more. Thank you for joining us and Happy Thanksgiving.

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, we hear how the people of Israel, adrift in the wilderness, turn their focus to a god they can see.

October 11 – Living as a Liberation Community

Exodus 32:1–14 The book of Exodus contains many stories about the people of Israel who made the long journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom. This week’s story tells when Moses was away on the sacred mountain, and the people turn to Aaron for leadership. Moses is gone a long, long time, and the people become worried. Will Moses ever return? The people and Aaron want something to cling to; a physical reminder that they are not alone. It is as if they have already forgotten God’s leading, love, and promises. Aaron and the people want to make a symbol to represent God, but God’s relationship with the people is in their liberation from Egypt.

Read Exodus 32:1–14 or Listen to the audio story “The People Are Impatient” or gather around as someone tells the story “Moses and the Golden Calf.”

Talk about the things you say and do to show love.
Write a family blessing for mealtime that expresses gratitude for love shared and the loving presence of God.
Print this week’s children’s activity leaflet, which includes the story “Moses and the Golden Calf,” an activity page, and a craft.

Prayer letters

Just like Moses, we can come before God to advocate for those things in the world that concern us deeply.

  • Create a prayer station in your home this week. Set out newspapers, newsmagazines, and writing materials.
  • During the week, write prayer letters to God, explaining how you feel and what should change.
  • As you write your letters, consider ways you might be an answer to the prayer. Advocacy Moses demonstrated that speaking up for others can have a powerful effect. Today, many courageous people speak truth to power and seek justice in the world.
    Explore the stories of young people who have made a difference through advocacy and activism at: children-worldwide.

What outreach or action project might you support, individually, or as a household?

Jewish special day

Today, October 11, Jewish people celebrate Simchat Torah. Rabbi Adam Morris explains this special day.

Simchat Torah is one of those times during the Jewish year that Jews are expected to P-A-R-T-Y.Simcha means “joy” or “celebration” and the Torah is the embodiment of Jewish learning and teaching. During the year, the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) is split up into 39 separate portions. One portion is read each week beginning in Genesis sometime in September or October and ending about a year later. The point between the beginning and ending point is the Celebration of Torah or Simchat Torah. It falls on the eighth day after the seven days of Sukkot (see Leviticus 23:36).

The culmination of the intense High Holyday season, this day celebrates Torah as the dynamic tool of survival of the Jewish people. Simchat Torah celebrations include dancing with the scrolls of the Torah around the synagogue, music, sometimes even a little schnapps, and most importantly reading of the last portion of Deuteronomy and the first part of Genesis – keeping the circle complete. We finish and then begin each year again because we believe that we must continue to turn to the Torah over and over again, for everything is contained in it.

During the week
Listen and sing along to the song “Be God’s” (available here for purchase and download). Play the song throughout the week until everyone is joining in.

Visit Lection Connection, October 11, for current events that connect with this week’s scriptures.page2image14464

Prayer for each day

God of Moses, may we remember, and be within your remembering. May we care, as we are within your caring.
May we hear, as we are within your hearing.
May we rejoice, as we are within your rejoicing.

May we matter, as we are within your mattering. Amen.