Finding Our Biblical Story
Team Leader: Shawn Kneeland
Purpose: To discern how God is at work in our congregation by tapping into a Biblical story and using it as a frame of reference.
Pilgrim Covenant’s Biblical Story
In January 2015, the Biblical Story subcommittee began seeking God’s guidance as to what He saw our biblical story as. The members of the subcommittee sought God individually in prayer over a three week period. At the end of this period they met, on January 25. After exploring several possible stories, the subcommittee quickly came to an agreement that God was telling us that our story at Pilgrim Covenant Church was Numbers 20:1-13. The subcommittee also agreed that the scripture was rich with direction and guidance for our church. The more we discussed the scripture, the more we saw being revealed by this scripture. Below is the Our Biblical Story and the truths the subcommittee believed we at PCC were supposed to learn from it. As suggested during the Vitality Update meeting we should continue to explore this scripture in small group bible studies and during our own individual prayer time.
In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. 2Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. 3 They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! 4 Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? 5 Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” 6 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 The Lord said to Moses, 8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” 9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” 13 These were the waters of Meribah,[a] where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.
Israel was being lead to the Promised Land, a wonderful place that God wanted to bring them to out of love. As He is doing for Pilgrim Covenant Church through the Vitality process.
We need to trust God to take us to the next step
The Israelites were tested in the wilderness but God had something great planned ahead for them.
We cannot hold onto the past, if we do we will miss out on where God is trying to bring us.
Do not grumble against God’s plan, God’s leaders, or God’s people.
Pray for God’s direction.
Remain humble and fall on your face before the Lord.
There is a call to action. A responsibility for us to take up our rod.
God provided for his people even after their grumbling.
We must be careful how we respond to others’ even when they are out of line (Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it, due to frustration with Israel’s grumbling)
We must follow God’s will and always recognize our dependence on God. We should not try to do things in our own strength.
Disobedience kept Moses out of the Promised Land.
God’s glory was diminished by Moses’ striking the rock rather than speaking to it.