Tag Archives: Moses

Moses #adventbookclub

Exodus 3:1-8 (CEV)

God Speaks to Moses

One day, Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and Moses decided to lead them across the desert to Sinai,[a] the holy mountain. There an angel of the Lord appeared to him from a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it was not burning up. “This is strange!” he said to himself. “I’ll go over and see why the bush isn’t burning up.”

When the Lord saw Moses coming near the bush, he called him by name, and Moses answered, “Here I am.”

God replied, “Don’t come any closer. Take off your sandals—the ground where you are standing is holy. I am the God who was worshiped by your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Moses was afraid to look at God, and so he hid his face.

The Lord said:

I have seen how my people are suffering as slaves in Egypt, and I have heard them beg for my help because of the way they are being mistreated. I feel sorry for them,and I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians.

I will bring my people out of Egypt into a country where there is good land, rich with milk and honey. I will give them the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.

 And so we end, right back at the beginning, right where it all began.  Where God speaks – powerfully, without any doubt it’s him – and putting, quite literally, the fear of God into Moses.  God’s light, in the depth of the wilderness, burning, yet not destroying; shining and not going out.  There amongst the pain and despair, deep in the wilderness, into Moses’ brokenness. God’s promise that he has heard his peoples cry, and he’s coming to get them.

That is his promise that echoes down through the generations.  God speaks it to each person in each place and time.  He is coming to rescue, he is born among them, he shines his light – and we each are invited to be a part of that work, for that is how it will spread.  God among us, God in us, God shining through us.

 God calls us to be part of his promise.

Will I, will you, take up the call?

However inadequate or able, however humble or privileged, whatever our job or standing, whatever we have done or not done.  God calls, God promises, God leads.

God of Promise,
of call,
of light;
God in the depth of the wilderness,
burning, yet not destroying;
shining and not going out.

God among the pain and despair,
into Moses’ brokenness.

You promise
that you have
heard your peoples cry,
and you’re coming to get us.

May I allow this to happen,
in me,
in your world,
in wilderness,
and in palaces;
in places of brokenness
and places of joy;
where there is hope
and where there is despair.

Shine your light Lord,
I pray.

And when you invite me
to be a part of your work,
equip
and empower me
to take up your call.

Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page

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Leaving home

Part of the Lent experience is journeying.  Considering where we are, what we are doing – and if that is where and what we should be.

Genesis 12:1-4

1The LORD said to Abram:

Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. 2I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others. 3I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you. 4-5Abram was seventy-five years old when the LORD told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had gotten while in Haran.

God calls Abram to leave his country, his family, all that was familiar, and go where he was showing him.  He had to move on if he was going to become what God wanted him to be.

I absolutely hate moving house, it is totally traumatic.  We once moved three times in 2 years, we just lived like snails, and only unpacked essentials!  Abram is 75 – but he does what God asks of him.

Journeying is part of the Christian life, maybe not physically, but we are at times called to leave behind the familiar, step out in faith, and go where God calls. There may be some things we need to move on from.  Habits that have taken us over, places where familiarity has bred contempt, things we no longer see because they are so familiar, or just new things to discover.

But journeying with God is not so much about where we are leaving from, but where we are going to. God called Abram from his familiarity, but he was also calling him to Canaan.  To a new life, a new way – and wow, what things God had in store!

SO what is God calling you to put down, give up, move on from – not just for Lent, but for the next stage of your journey?

And what is God calling you to?  What does he have in store for your life and mine?

 

Lord, our life with you is never static.

You call us to come with you.

Help us to hear your call

and to understand;

to know what to leave behind,

and to place our footsteps in yours.

May all our journeyings

be to the places you show us

that all may be blessed.

Laying down the Law

We are all taught as children that fire is dangerous.  It can cause much damage, destroy property, put lives at risk.  Anyone who has ever suffered even a small burn knows how painful it is, never mind the sights when bush fires ravish land so quickly.

Yet fire also has more positive uses:

Fire gets rid of rubbish

Fire sterilizes

It gives heat

It provides light

Fire changes things.  It causes a chemical reaction.

God invites Moses to come and meet with him, and to the Israelites the glory of God on the mountain looks like an all-consuming fire.  Moses goes into the presence of God, and he will be changed.

Of course this is not Moses first encounter with God and fire.  God had met him before in The Burning Bush.  God is running on a theme.

This time, Moses goes up to meet God to be given the tablets of stone that will have the law and commandments God has given for the people’s’ instruction.  These are not God’s whims, but the understanding of the one who made the world, of how it would best function.

They are there to change the nation:

  • To get rid of rubbish, if followed, only good will be left.  There is nothing like a bonfire to get rid of garden waste; setting fire is one secure way to get rid of any confidential papers, there is nothing left but ash.
  • To sterilise.  I remember needles being passed through flames to make them sterile for poking out splinters or the like (never to be advised!)  The heat removed the germs that couldn’t even be seen.
  • To give heat – who can resist a roaring fire?  And with the right chimney it warms the whole building.
  • To give light.  A fire will give light in a dark space, and as beacons have been used over the centuries to communicate.

God’s laws will do all of these in the world.  If followed there need be nothing that is wrong left, and strength will be renewed, and the whole world will have what it needs to get on.

Going into the fire to meet with God – it’s dangerous and life-enhancing.  Will we take the risk?  Will we let him get rid of the things that need to go, clean our lives from the bad things we may not even be able to see, warm us and give us light?

God invites us to come, to hear his words, to be changed.

Lord

as we gaze on the fire

and think of the flame,

we remember your calling

to us to come

to hear

and to receive.

May we let you change us

and transform us

as fire transforms.

May we know purification

and warmth

from you.