Friday, October 11, 2019
MOSES: THE GREAT I AM AND THE RELUCTANT LEADER
Sermon Summary (9/29/19) “Moses: The Great I AM and the Reluctant Leader: (Ex 3 and 4 selected)
I can’t say I’ve had a Burning Bush experience, but I have had a turn in the road. We had invited a pastor to our house in the evening to talk to us about church membership. On the way home from work, I felt this incredible peace come over me. I can tell you when it happened. I can tell you the turn in the road. I was placing myself in God’s hands. I was going to do whatever he told me to do. That night the pastor talked to me about Lay Speaking Ministries. What if I had missed it? What if I had missed the turn in the road? What would Rosemary and I have missed?
Like Moses, I had been in the wilderness. And like Moses, I had learned a whole new set of skills that would be important for me when I responded to the call. At the right time God called me back. If Moses had ignored the burning bush, God might had had to wait hundreds of years to bring his children out of slavery. What might have I missed?
Moses said, “If they ask, who can I say has sent me?” God said, “Tell them that I AM has sent you. That is my name for all generations.” I AM. God’s name is a verb, the verb “to be.” I” am , I always was, I always will be.” “I am the essence of life itself. “I am the essence of your life.” As Jesus said, “Because I life, you shall live also.” We have life, because of him. We will have life because of him.
God says, “I have heard the cries of my people, and I am sending you.” Whoa! That’s what we fear, isn’t it? If we answer God’s call instead of ignoring the burning bush or the turn in the road, he is going to send us to Pharaoh. Probably not. Most likely, if we ask, “what’s next Lord?” God will prompt us to make a phone call, or visit someone who is sick, or to join the relief funds for hurricane victims. Only a few are sent to Pharaoh.
But that was Moses’ fear. I turned aside to the burning bush and God is going to send me. But God, what if Pharaoh says no? I will be with you. But God, I’m slow of tongue. I will give you the words. (Later he would give him his big brother, Aaron, who speaks well.) What if he still says no? I will give you signs and wonders, throw your staff on the ground (It turns into a snake). God, can’t you just send someone else.
Think of all Moses would have missed had God found another. Here we are talking about him 3500 years later. Think of all we miss when we fail to listen, fail to heed, or just say no. We miss life itself. We simply need to say, “What’s next Lord?” Who, what, when, where? You are asking the One who is responsible for your very existence. That’s a good place to be.
So may it be with all of us.