June 21, 2010
Read: Exodus 3-5
God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then he said, "Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." Exodus 3:4-5
Think About: The story of the Exodus is the central event of the Jewish faith just as the story of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection are central to the Christian faith. And the most important person in the story of the Exodus is Moses.
God prepared Moses from the moment of his birth to become the man who would lead the Hebrews to the Promised Land. It was no accident that Moses was raised in an Egyptian household and given all the advantages of a Prince of Egypt. Moses was born with personality traits that would make him an ideal leader, and, as he was growing up in the Pharaoh's household, he developed an affinity for his own people, the Hebrews, who were being persecuted. However, when he rose up against an Egyptian overseer who beat a Hebrew slave, Moses was not yet ready to assume his leadership role.
So, he ran away. He became an essential part of a Midianite family - far different from the life he led in Egypt. He became a humble shepherd, working for his father-in-law, and in the process learned how to survive in the wilderness and how to care for those for whom he was responsible.
So, the time finally came, and God called Moses to save God's chosen people from slavery. But God expected much more from Moses than to be an effective leader. From the moment Moses first responded to God's voice, he was called to holiness. And from the moment we first respond to God's voice, he calls us to holiness.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, defined holiness not as achieving sinless perfection but as having one's heart fully fixed on God, setting aside all other affections -"perfect love." How that love is manifested goes far beyond the way we behave. It involves Bible study and worship, yes, but it also involves how we love our fellow humans and ourselves. It is, in essence, the manifestation of the two principal commandments Jesus reiterated: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love others as you love yourself.
So, as we read about Moses and the Exodus this summer, we need to follow Moses' journey toward holiness. Jesus takes us on that journey, too, but he was perfectly holy. Moses, like the rest of us, had to find holiness and learn holiness.
So, acknowledge the presence of God in your life (i.e., take off your shoes), because you are standing on holy ground.
Pray this Prayer: Father, I am beginning to understand that Moses' adventure in the wilderness may be an adventure for me as well. I will follow your leading, Holy Father. Show me where to go. Amen.
Written by the St. Luke's Writing Team
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