Exo 3:1-12 One day while Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, he led the flock across the desert and came to Sinai, the holy mountain. (2) There the angel of the LORD appeared to him as a flame coming from the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire but that it was not burning up. (3) "This is strange," he thought. "Why isn't the bush burning up? I will go closer and see." (4) When the LORD saw that Moses was coming closer, he called to him from the middle of the bush and said, "Moses! Moses!" He answered, "Yes, here I am." (5) God said, "Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. (6) I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." So Moses covered his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (7) Then the LORD said, "I have seen how cruelly my people are being treated in Egypt; I have heard them cry out to be rescued from their slave drivers. I know all about their sufferings, ….. (10) Now I am sending you to the king of Egypt so that you can lead my people out of his country." (11) But Moses said to God, "I am nobody. How can I go to the king and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" (12) God answered, "I will be with you.
Mar 8:31-37 Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: "The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. He will be put to death, but three days later he will rise to life." (32) He made this very clear to them. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. (33) But Jesus turned around, looked at his disciples, and rebuked Peter. "Get away from me, Satan," he said. "Your thoughts don't come from God but from human nature!" (34) Then Jesus called the crowd and his disciples to him. "If any of you want to come with me," he told them, "you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me. (35) For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it. (36) Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! (37) There is nothing you can give to regain your life.
The Divine Invitation
October 20 2019
Let us pray. May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen
So what do we do when we are confronted by that
something beyond us
that somehow speaks to our hearts if you like
of something, of someone beyond us
this irrational sense of God.
I say irrational because it really is beyond rational
beyond sophisticated – we don’t do God language.
And yet this beyond-rational seems more real than the rational.
And so Moses
a run-a-way prince of Egypt, his own people in captivity,
Moses hiding because he killed a man
Moses given the best education of his day in the best of academies
learning all the secret arts of the Egyptians,
now a shepherd wandering with his father-in-laws flocks, they’re not even his own,
in the desert backblocks of life, waiting to die
believing his life to be nearing an end
no great possibilities before him
no great adventures planned.
Moses the rational.
And probably if the truth be known, bored out of his tree!
You might say that his life is on auto pilot.
I was talking to a pilot the other day about flying and he said
I only have to take the plane off and land it
the rest is autopilot. It just does what it does! So boring!
How many of us I wonder live on autopilot?
Get up at the same time each day?
Have the same breakfast – because it works!
Then do the same old same old
watch the same programs on the media
go to bed
and wake up the next morning,
think that maybe a fresh croissant, strawberry jam, and lashings of whipped cream would be great for breakfast
but we have instead what we’ve always had
and our day becomes the minutes of the last day!
And our lives live out that kind of rational predictability.
And when someone asks us how we are we respond? Fine.
We could be just about dead
and someone says- how are you
and we respond – fine.
Years ago I started to respond to the question, how are you Mark
with, Great and getting better!
You wouldn’t believe how that annoyed some people who were, fine!
But here’s the deal.
According to some experts in the field
the chances of you or me being born
with our unique genetic make-up
the thing that makes us unique, is 1 in 300 trillion!
Have a look at the person next to you!
That’s a I in 300 trillion person!
And all we can say about ourselves is that we are – fine.
The Word of God says to us:
“I made you inferior only to myself; I crowned you with glory and honour.”
And we say, we’re fine!
As we switch on to autopilot.
And suddenly Moses finds himself before him this irrational event.
An event so unexplainable
and in the event something speaking into his life
someone speaking into his life
and he knows: this is a different kind of experience.
This I have no answer for
this so not the norm. This ground on which I stand is not of human consciousness
this is holy ground.
And out of the irrational
out of the mystery
Exo 3:7-10 "I have seen how cruelly my people are being treated in Egypt; I have heard them cry out to be rescued from their slave drivers. I know all about their sufferings, (8) and so I have come down to rescue them…… Now I am sending you to the king of Egypt so that you can lead my people out of his country."
Moses, instead of having curds and whey
and goat cheese for breakfast as you have always done,
topped with Kellogg’s All Bran, to keep you regular,
try a freshly baked croissant and strawberry jam and lashing of whipped cream instead! Or maybe some bacon and eggs for a change.
Because that’s what it’s about, really, that’s what it’s about.
It’s that little auto-pilot voice within that says
don’t take the risk
don’t try the different
just be rational. Be sane.
Don’t leave your comfort zone
boring is good. Boring is safe.
And that still small nothingness of a voice
with it’s invitation to believe that our lives
are not to be lived
that God has made us just a little lower than Himself
and crowned us with Glory and Honour,
that voice is lost
in the inner voice of the lost child who responds,
How can I do this?
How can I break out of the same-old, same-old,
I am nobody.
And we push the snooze button on the bedside radio
the snooze button on life
and that moment of, this is what I was born for,
William Shakespeare wrote:
“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.”
And to the despairing voice of Moses
Moses who knows about the suffering of his people in Egypt
Moses who believes himself to be a failure
Moses who doesn’t know or believe that he is 1 in 300 trillion
Moses who says – It’s impossible, I am nobody
the still voice is yet there, if he will hear it.
“Moses, I will be with you. We will make it happen!”
Which that still small voice of calm
that irrational suggestion that behind this great cosmos
is a heart of Love
is one who cares for the broken and the damaged
and the dispossessed
and the orphan
the hopeless and the helpless
would still stop us in our tracks
and break into our auto-pilot living
I have heard the cry……
and I am sending you.
And don’t tell me you are nobody
you are one in 300 trillion.
And besides, I will be with you.
And don’t tell yourself that your fine!
You’re simply a prisoner to mediocrity
and the same old same old.
Today, tomorrow, some time this extra rational Voice of God
will lead us to that place where he will call us out of ‘fine’
to dynamically exciting
call us to lose our life that we may find it as our Lord reminded us.
And the world will be different.
As a congregation there is a present tide which will lead us on to complete the dream
of creating a refuge and a place of hope.
We can do it. Because God will be with us.
Again, maybe for some of us
we have been living with a same old same old picture of God
and our souls are dying.
Maybe there is a call to break out and discover the hidden depths
of the love of God
and discover that God is bigger
and beyond that little picture we grew up with.
And break out of a narrow confine of what God can do and can’t do
and who God loves and doesn’t love. And be a different kind of a Church
a church said Jesus
that like a giant tree can be a shelter for all kinds of
so this place, a place of safety and discovery and gentleness for all kinds of people.
And you and I be a people of His heart.
An irrational belief that we could be being called to be something of God beyond our wildest dreams.
That this moment
as every moment is holy ground
and truly believe that a tide is ready to take us to be the blessing
and uniquely God beautiful
such as only a group of people who know they are uniquely
1 in 300 trillion personalities that God has crowned with Glory and Honour
making us just a little lower than Himself.
A people beyond just ‘fine’.
Rather outrageously ecstatic about our possibilities in God.
Today, if we will hear his voice.
Now unto God the Father, God the Son and God, the holy Spirit, be all the honour and glory, world without end. Amen
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