Encountering God: Receiving a Mission
“Moses was minding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, priest of Midian. He led the flock along the side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the flame of a burning bush. Moses noticed that, although the bush was on fire, it was not being burnt up; so, he said to himself, ‘I must go across to see this wonderful sight. Why does not the bush burn away?’
When the Lord saw that Moses had turned aside to look, He called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses.’ And Moses answered, ‘Yes, here I am.’ God said, ‘Come no nearer; take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground…’
The Lord then said, ‘I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their outcry against their slave-masters. I have taken heed of their sufferings and have come down to rescue them from the power of Egypt…I will send you to Egypt…I will send you to Pharaoh, and you shall bring my people out of Egypt.’
‘But who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ God answered, ‘I am with you…’ (From Exodus 3:1-5, 7-8a, 10-11.)”
Earlier in his life, Moses had showed his readiness to sacrifice for his people. He had killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave and then fled, finding refuge in the land of Midian. At the time of this passage he had just adjusted to the life of a shepherd. Now he meets God in the form of the messenger Angel in the flame. Moses is awed, but also receptive. He is modest; therefore, he experiences some doubts and frustrations at receiving this mission. But God promises to be present. It is clear that this is God’s project, not one left to Moses, and God enables Moses’ modesty to be transformed into the humility of faith.
Meditation (to be read slowly):
Close your eyes. Become quiet and take a few slow, deep breaths. Become aware of yourself as a shepherd walking along tending your flock…you are walking along, and you notice something which catches your attention because of its awe…you turn aside, and as you turn, you hear God speak to you…God speaks your name…you respond…God tells you to take off your shoes, for this is holy ground; you do that…God tells you that he has seen some concern in your life or the life of others. He mentions this and you listen…He informs you that you can do something about it, and you listen…you question what you can do…
Allow yourself to ask any questions that you want…share any doubts that you might feel or any other concerns or hopes…allow God to reassure you that He is with you always…allow yourself to sense this…communicate anything else that feels necessary…
When you are ready, finish your dialogue with God and continue herding your flock…as you are tending your flock, think back on what has occurred and let it soak in…when you are ready, open your eyes.
Give attention to the guidance received for action and take the next step…
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