A Journey of faith within the church, the culture and the world
Thursday, February 14, 2013
A Lenten Reflection for February 14
“Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight; and as he approached to look, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have surely seen the mistreatment of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. Come now, I will send you to Egypt.’” (Acts 7:30-34)
Lent is a time when we intentionally put on the brakes. We’re mostly a people in motion, a people in a rush to get here or do that, a people in a blur like it’s eternally 5:00pm at Union Station. Lent slows us down and causes us to look around us, inside us, and beside us. It’s a time to become re-attuned to the voice of God.
Moses ran from his destiny as the one who would lead the Hebrew people out of their slavery in Egypt. He had killed an Egyptian slave driver and then took off to start a new life, one hidden from the drama of Egypt, one that would drop him into anonymity and safety. But in the course of his daily and predictable routine, he encountered the burning bush, through which God spoke to him. Moses had turned away from the suffering of the Hebrew people in Egypt, but God had not. Nor had God forgotten about Moses.
It is interesting to note that God did not point Moses toward the spot designated as “holy ground.” He didn’t say, “Look, Moses—take four steps left and two steps back, jump over that rock and then you’ll find my holy ground.” Instead, Moses was already there without knowing it. When God summoned Moses into his presence, that which moments earlier was mundane and predictable became holy and purposeful. It was only after Moses’ immersion in God’s holiness that he removed his sandals.
Are we who follow Jesus already standing on holy ground? Has God summoned us by his burning-bush voice and yet we seek only the safety of our perceived anonymity? Where are the ones who suffer, the ones who have not escaped God’s notice, but have missed mine? Has God called me to respond to the cries of the wounded and marginalized, and yet I have excused myself to chase after an errant goat?
God forgive me. God forgive us. Let us remove our sandals. The ground beneath our feet is already holy.