MOSES, SHEPHERD OF (TWO) FLOCKS
Moses was shepherding a flock in Midian when an angel of God appeared to him in a burning bush. God was calling Moses to become a shepherd of a much greater magnitude- Moses was to lead God’s people out of Egypt, away from slavery, into a land God had promised them. This new shepherding mission was a huge and risky undertaking, and understandably, Moses felt overwhelmed and inadequate. Where could this shepherd Moses find joy in this moment?
Light the Prophecy, Bethlehem and Shepherd Candles.
Exodus 3:1-5 (NRSV)
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, 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.”
Yes, God is calling Moses to a very challenging mission. Moses is only a man, a shepherd who could not do this on his own. So God shows Moses that “the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Moses is in the presence of God, the perfect place to begin any new adventure. God goes on to promise Moses God’s guidance, strength and help. God is present in the bush, and God would be present the rest of the way. Moses would not do this alone.
In a way, each day of our lives is a new venture, a new challenge, a new calling. And we too, are standing on holy ground. God’s presence is with us, just as God was with Moses in the burning bush. We can find our joy in the reassurance that no matter what lies before us, we are in the best place to begin- in the presence of God.
Our joy comes when we are serving God with generous spirits, when we courageously answer God’s call to use us, and when we know that we are not doing any of this alone.
Take off your shoes. We are standing on holy ground.
Prayer: Holy God, we are standing on holy ground. Help us to answer your call faithfully and fully- and always with joy. Amen.