Trinity News and Sermons

08/31/14 Sermon Bullets

Lesson is the Call of Moses from Exodus 3

  • The call of Moses in our first lesson is a powerful story, filled with amazing imagery: a burning bush that does not burn up; one called to take shoes off for he is standing on holy ground; the voice of God calling Moses to a new existence.
  • As we read this, we can ask ourselves various questions this day:
  • How is God represented to you in your own life? What is the “burning bush” experience of God for you?
  • What does it mean to be “standing on holy ground” for you? If you knew for certain that you were in God’s presence, how might you react?
  • I share in the diakonia program that very often our piety takes various forms, but at least two ways are QUITE different, and can be expressed in two musical forms: a) a hymn: “Let all mortal flesh keep silence and with fear and trembling stand; ponder nothing earthly minded, for with blessing in his hand Christ our God to earth descending comes full homage to demand.” Or b) “I don’t care if it rains or freezes, long as I got my plastic Jesus up there on the dashboard of my car!” In the first, we sense God as the “holy other”, much like Moses with the burning bush. In the second, Jesus is my “bud” and “co-pilot.” EACH is an expression of our faith – God the awesome and God the personal Savior. Most likely there are many other expressions of piety for you and me.
  • God calls Moses to go BACK to Egypt, a place from which he ran after Moses had killed a man to seek justice for a Hebrew slave. Moses is taken aback by this call. Why would God call him to do this? Isn’t there someone else more qualified and gifted for the job?
  • God calls each of us into mission in the places we find ourselves, and we can be intimidated by this call. Surely someone else is better equipped to do God’s work than me!?
  • In the full account of the Call of Moses, Moses objects several times to being called: I don’t know your name; they won’t trust me, I stutter, etc. Each time God assures Moses “I will be with you.”
  • We can find any number of excuses to reject God’s call to mission in our lives: not enough time; not strong enough faith, or unable to articulate it appropriately; not secure in my own faith; not enough patience for those you call me to go to; scared; not sure I WANT to forgive and move forward with these persons, etc.
  • In each instance, God says to us, “You are not alone in this. I will be with you. Trust me.”
  • In the story, God creates an intimate relationship with Moses that God has not had with others: for the first time in the Bible, he gives someone his name. To have a name gives power, shows intimacy. Before the age of cell phones and Facebook, people would hand out business cards, but at the very beginning of this practice, one was hesitant. “Do I want this person to ACTUALLY contact me? Am I ready to deepen the business or personal relationship enough to let them KNOW MY NAME and contact information?”
  • God is willing to risk the deepening of this relationship with his children, and especially with Moses, to give his name. (Even to this day, our Jewish sisters and brothers do not speak the name of God; it is considered THAT holy to them.)
  • God trusts you enough to deepen his relationship with you – not only to give you his name, but to give you himself, in Jesus, the Christ. And God trusts you so much that you receive God himself within you, in the form of Body and Blood in Holy Communion. THAT IS THE LEVEL OF INTIMACY GOD IS WILLING TO SHARE!
  • With this presence, this “I AM with you”, we have the courage to, in spite of many objections, answer the call, “Here I am, Lord. Send me!”