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Exodus 3:1-12 (NIV)
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”  When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending 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?”  And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

When have you felt closest to Christ? That time you remember most and it gave you the biggest blessing. Do we not see those times because we’re so distracted? Have you had an encounter with God? If you did what happened?

Do you perceive the waving of the trees as God waving at you? Or do you just miss it sometimes because there are more pressing issues? Sometimes you simply need to stop and look up to see God is all around you. Do you find that God seems to work at our most trying times? When we’re weak? When we’re broken? When we feel helpless or even hopeless? God just seems to always be there working on our behalf.

We find God’s presence in the story of Moses. Here’s the backstory: Moses is at his lowest. He fled Egypt after he killed the Egyptian who assaulted the Hebrews. Moses then flees to Midian. He rescues the seven daughters of Jethro there and Jethro gives Moses one of his daughters to marry. She bears him a son. Moses decides to stay and help his father-in-law with his flock.

Then something quite unusual happens. God tells him to take off his shoes because he’s on holy ground. God makes him stop his business to turn aside and see the burning bush. How crazy is it that Moses is seeing this miraculous thing happening? The bush is burning but it’s not consumed.

Photo by Cullan Smith on Unsplash

But what if Moses hadn’t turned to see the bush? What if he’d said he was too busy? The flock needed his full attention. Yet, Moses did stop and look. Had he not, he might not have had this divine encounter with God.

This begs the question: how many times do we miss God’s call because we can’t be bothered? We’re too busy. Do you get together with family only to find you’re all on your devices and not focused on each other?

I’m so thankful that Moses understood the importance of stopping and looking. Then listening to God’s words telling him: “So now, go. I am sending 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?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Think Moses was a bit terrified? He might have thought…..

lighted Be afraid of the enformity of the rossible neon signage
Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

The veil between heaven and earth is very thin. In those thin places, we see God. We see in our mind photos of those places. This story is so profound. There’s an assurance that we’re not alone God is with us.

We get the message of this story about how God uses you to be a blessing to others. We discover it’s not always about us. We’re supposed to go out and help others. When we sit at the Communion table, we discover it is one of those thin places. We remember we’re not alone by the bread and wine. As we rise from the table, we are free to hear the cries of others.

This story also makes us ask:

  1. Do we realize that this God we worship is strong, eternal, powerful, mighty, everlasting, pure, holy, and true?
  2. Do we realize that He alone is God and that we are not?

It only took a burning bush to get Moses’ attention. Sometimes we all need that extraordinary experience…a jolt if you will to get our attention. Some of us might even need a lightning bolt to strike to tear us away from all the noise going on in the world.

empty road
Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

I’ve had more times in my life than I care to recall where God had to do more than simply nudge me. He knew I wasn’t paying attention and He needed a way to make me see what He wanted me to see. Sadly, some of those times were extreme attention-getters. But just like Moses when he told God he couldn’t possibly do what God was asking him to do, God said, “I will be with you.” So He is with all of us no matter the circumstance. It’s taken me many years to trust God completely. I’m sure His exasperation level with me is quite high at times. I have a lot of fear that I’m still working on conquering. Patience is another bad quality I possess. But isn’t it wonderful to know that God is with us? With that shouldn’t we at least put down our phones, turn off the TV, and take notice so that God doesn’t have to bring a lightning bolt on top of our head or even a burning bush?

Look up…where do you see God? Could it possibly be in the swaying trees? Or even in the clouds?

low angle photography of trees at daytime
Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

And that’s what I learned in Church……see ya next time!