Known by Name

Pressing On

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

The word for today is presence: God’s abiding and constant presence — not a random, “force-like” presence that just is. This is an intimate presence, a personal presence, a presence that knows your name. What a proclamation to bring this week! You are known. In our over-mediated society, it is often the individual who gets lost in the mass of voices and noise that surrounds us. There are many in your congregation who can attest to feeling lonely in a crowd. This week could be an antidote to those feelings.

Week 3: Known by Name

Exodus 33:12-23

Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).

Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have each participant answer the question, “Did you have a security blanket or favorite stuffed animal when you were young?”

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)

Read Exodus 33:12-23

  • Share a time when were felt the presence of God. Where were you? Who was there with you?
  • What practices enable you to experience the presence God? [For example, prayer, reading Scripture, worship, silence, solitude, and so on.]
  • Read the passage, again trying to place yourself in Moses’s shoes. How does it feel to hear God say that God knows your name (v.17)?
  • How does assurance of God’s presence (Matthew 28:20) and God’s intimate knowledge of us enable us to press on during difficult times?
  • Being assured of God’s presence and trusting that God knows us intimately and still chooses to love us is the foundation of our story as Christians. Yet, many Christians are very reluctant to share their testimony or giving witness to what God has done in their lives. Take a few moments and allow participants to write out their testimonies. A simple outline for a testimony is to (a) explain life before Christ, (b) talk about how you encountered Christ, and (c) note the difference Christ has made in your life.

Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.

Sending Forth (2 minutes). Ask for a volunteer to lead the group in prayer or read the following prayer in unison:

Ever-present God, we give you thanks for your abiding presence with us. Guide us to be more aware of opportunities to abide in your presence that we might be assured of status as beloved children of God. Give us the freedom and courage to live as the beloved children of God who are known and loved by you. Amen.

In This Series...


Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Reformation Sunday, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes