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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Today’s Reading | Exodus 3:1–12 

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” (NRSV)

Do you hear God speaking to you in your daily life? Do you feel like there are signs of God’s presence in the world? Can you perceive the reconciling grace of Jesus working understanding between enemies? Do you feel the movement of the Spirit, pushing us all to seek justice for the oppressed?

With all the bad things that are going on in the world around us—with all the hard things that you might be experiencing in your personal life this very day—it would be great to be able to see God’s miraculous power at work, wouldn’t it? If only we knew where to look for it.

Moses and his people were in need of God’s care and presence as well. They needed a miracle that would free them from the oppression of slavery in Egypt. But, when we meet Moses, they had already endured generations of servitude. Why would anything change now?

“When the Lord saw that Moses had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’”

Moses turns aside from the everyday, but important, task of keeping his father-in-law’s sheep to examine a strange bush that is on fire but that is not consumed. He directs his attention to something that fills him with wonder. Only then does God speak to Moses.

Perhaps this is how God’s presence and power might come to us as well. What are the things that bring you to a sense of wonder? Do you turn aside to give them a closer look?

God of miraculous power, remind us that we have a role to play in bringing about a world of peace and justice and that you will speak if only we become ready to listen. Come to us—in burning bush and lightening sky, in human resilience and in nature’s diversity, in the vastness of space beyond us and in the microcosm of each human mind. We will do our best to turn aside and pay attention. Amen.

Written by Hardy H. Kim, Associate Pastor for Evangelism

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