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Pastor’s Pen

“”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…

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.’” Exodus 3:2-3

         A very long time ago, God spoke to a man whom the daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh had adopted as a child. The grown man had fled the house of his childhood to escape the consequences of a crime he had committed. Creating a new life in exile far away, he tried to forget his birth family and his adoptive family altogether. But he did not succeed.

         God had a plan for his life. And God remembered him and God found him. The man’s name was Moses, and though he felt neither worthy, nor prepared, God called him, and sent him back to the suffering of his origins and to the people who had raised him, with news they would not want to hear and that he did not want to deliver.

         It’s a wonder Moses decided to go, isn’t it? We know what it’s like to be called to do something that we believe in our heart is the right thing, but we don’t want to do it. Telling the truth about something might alienate someone. We don’t want to ruffle feathers. We don’t want to stir the pot. Sometimes stirring the pot is creating trouble, passing gossip or raising dissent based on something we personally want or prefer. This causes pain and suffering for other people, and it is not faithful.

         What happens when God calls us to stir the pot? Sometimes God asks us to be the reluctant bearer of news that may feel like bad news to Pharaoh, but is good news in the long run for God’s people. We may resist responding. Through free will we may even try to say “no”. Though God will not forget us, God will no doubt eventually move through another path to fulfill God’s purposes if we persistently decline.

         God sometimes calls us to difficult action for the sake of God’s work in the world. But here’s the catch. Deep listening and fervent prayer help discern whether it is God’s voice speaking through a burning bush compelling us to act, or our bruised ego insisting on our own way. We are all capable of both. Only God knows which is which, and when we pay attention, God always reveals this to us.

Is the bush still burning in our time? Does it burn for you? How is God speaking in your life? Turn aside from whatever you are doing and listen, saying, as did Moses to his Lord, “Here I am”.

Prayer: God, grant me the humility to hear your voice when you call, the trust to listen, and the courage to act according to your plans. In all things, may I be faithful to you. Amen