Action Zones 

Opening THE Book 6 with Rev John

JOHN KINCHIN-SMITH24th December 2018
as published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church

The second book of the Bible, Exodus, tells the story of how God called a man named Moses to rescue the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. It's an amazing story that includes ten terrible plagues that happened before the King of Egypt would let the people go, the drying up of the Red Sea so that the people could cross to safety when being chased by the Egyptian army and a terrifying encounter with God in the desert when they received the `Ten Commandments'. The story is wonderfully told in an old film called The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston
But perhaps the most amazing thing about the story is that it tells of a God who isn't remote, invisible, "out there", unconcerned, but rather it tells of a God who hears the cries of the suffering and who intervenes to do something about it. There are people who believe in God and believe that a universe of such amazing design, with its laws of nature, could not have happened by random chance; but they believe that having started everything off, God has `withdrawn' from his creation and does not intervene — a bit like a clockwork watch that now runs by itself. 'Agnostics' are also a bit like this. Agnostics say that there may be a God or there may not be — we cannot know for sure
OPEN BIBLEHowever the Bible teaches that God is not like an absent parent, but continues to be actively involved in his creation. And the story of Moses also teaches us something else very important indeed. It teaches us about 'right' and 'wrong'. It says that there really is an objective standard, that morality does not change with time and circumstances and that it's not okay to do whatever we want provided it doesn't hurt anyone else. Actually, whatever we do will have a knock-on effect on someone else
But the Ten Commandments not only teach us right and wrong. Because they were given to us by an amazing perfect loving God, the Ten Commandments show us something of where true happiness and freedom can be found. They are like boundaries to protect us. If we go outside these boundaries, we hurt ourselves and others — like the rules we make to protect OUR children

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