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SERMON SERIES FOR OUR SUNDAY WORSHIP ON THE LORD’S DAY, January 1, 2023  Happy New Year!  We hope that the New Year will bring you blessings and days filled with joy!  However, we are already seeing news reports predicting that 2023 will be a difficult year.  Although some things will change as we move into 2023, some things will just remain the same or get worse as we move across the threshold to a new year.  When you stop and think about it, saying, “Happy New Year” is far more aspirational than factual!  None us can predict what 2023 will bring into our lives and we are always tempted to live in fear rather than hope.  Fear is one of the most basic human responses to circumstances.  Since it is a natural response, it is the “go to” reaction of our hearts and minds unless we are willing to claim a different vision for our future.  Our first sermon series for 2023 is Seeking Holy Ground, andthe “kick off” sermon is Reclaimed.  As the title suggests, we will be looking at the life of Moses in Exodus 3:1-10.  At this point in his life, Moses was a semi-broken man with a murder charge hanging over his head.  He had lost his home, heritage, and most certainly his hope for the future!  This scripture is an amazing moment in which God helps him to reclaim his hope, his respect, and his vision of God’s redeeming power!  These words are a witness to everyone who is broken and despairing, that God’s desire is to renew and reclaim us from the smoldering ashes of our fear and despair.  This is our most earnest prayer, as you read Exodus 3:1-10, that you will experience the presence of our living God as you celebrate the coming of 2023. 

Exodus 3:1-10:

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight– why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. 7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey– the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. (NIV)