Moses feels overwhelmed. His life has evolved in ways that he never imagined when he was a favored son in Pharaoh’s house as the child of royalty. Learning his true identity sends him on a journey full of peril, but he has found a place of security in the household of the priest of Midian. But God has a plan for his life that also lies beyond his imagining, and God shows up with a call that challenges who and what he under- stands himself to be.
The wilderness to which he has journeyed is probably the last place he expects to see the light of God, to experience the fire of God’s presence, to stand in the radiance of God’s glory. Nor does he expect to hear his name called and to be brought face-to-face with the God of his ancestors. No wonder he is afraid. Perhaps he senses that this call from God will catapult him into places unknown and force him to face unimaginable challenges.
But isn’t that the common story of those whom God calls to speak a word of freedom, of justice, and of the amazing love of God to the people of God? When we find ourselves in wilderness places, we often come face-to-face with the glory of God that shines into our lives from unexpected places. But like Moses, we can become fearful.
Fear of what awaits us causes us to hide ourselves, to refuse the challenge of our call to service in God’s name. But we cannot escape the light of God’s glory. The darkness of the wilderness cannot overcome God’s amazing light that shines all around us as we accept the challenge of offering the word of God to the people of God.
Eternal God, shine your light on us that we may move beyond fear to reflect the light of your glory. Amen.
In Exodus 3, Moses is moved to inspect the bush because it is an oddity, and in so doing he encounters the presence of the living God. Not even Moses could be prepared for the challenge that ensues. Psalm 105 recites God’s great acts of mercy in Israel’s life; in this instance, focusing on Moses and Aaron. The key verb here is “sent,” and its subject is God. In Romans 12, Paul takes the notion of covenant demand and expounds on it. Christians are called not simply to keep rules; they are transformed and readied for new life in the world. Paul provides an inventory of new life for those who are changed and renewed by the gospel. The Gospel reading is one of Jesus’ most acute reflections on the obedience expected of the faithful. He announces his own destiny of suffering obedience and invites his disciples to share in that radical destiny. For the faithful, there is no “business as usual”; it’s a divine call that brings challenge.
• Read Exodus 3:1-15. Have you experienced God’s call to something you felt ill-equipped for? What did you say to God? to yourself?
• Read Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c. How difficult is it for you to praise God in the midst of turmoil? Why?
• Read Romans 12:9-21. Where in your life do you have opportunities to bless those who curse you?
• Read Matthew 16:21-28. What does your call to discipleship in Christ cost you?
Respond by posting a prayer.