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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, March 19, 2019              

Today’s Scripture 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)

“Who am I that I should go?”

It can be hard to be called to something. There can be deep joy in it, deep satisfaction, but it often goes hand-in-hand with deep, deep fear, especially at first.

We fear too much is being asked of us, not knowing what in our lives we will have to give up and fearing the loss of that.

We fear we will be changed in some way we won’t recognize—and other people won’t—and fear the loss of our sense of identity and of the relationships we know.

We fear we won’t be up to what is being asked of us—that we will fail. And having risked much, we will have neither what we had before nor whatever new thing we were trying to move towards.

We fear being consumed, taken over, no longer ourselves. But here’s the thing: when God calls us and we answer that call, we only become more ourselves, brighter than before, a beacon for others. The bush is burning, yet it doesn’t burn up. Again, the bush was burning, and then God was there, calling. We are presented with a miracle—let us offer ourselves up to be holy flame.

Holy God, help me answer your call. Help me not drag my feet, wanting assurances, but grant me just enough strength, just enough courage, just enough vision to keep me moving forward, one step at a time. Amen.

Written by Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life

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