Monday, 26 October 2009

Memo to self


1. Sermon at Church on the Rock yesterday: Moses turned aside to look at the burning bush which was not burning, then God spoke to him.

2. Today, reading Nick and Catherine Drayson's blog, a mention of the burning bush. They quote this poem by r.s.thomas, in the context of inspiration for extending God's kingdom:
“I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it.
But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to posess it.
Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future,
nor hankering after
an imagined past.
It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush
, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory
as your youth
but is the eternity that
awaits you.”

[The Bright Field]

3. This was an Aargh! moment. Reading a blog I came across quite randomly - you know how you click on a blog, then click on another blog mentioned on that blog, etc etc - I found this quote:

Peter Maiden said at a University Christian Union event, (30 years ago)

"Moses spent 40 years learning to be a somebody, 40 years learning to be a nobody and 40 years learning how God can use a somebody who's learned to be a nobody"

I literally went 'Aargh!!', clutching at my hair and bashing elbows on the table - I was about to load to look up... yes, Moses!

So, this is the story: the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up."
When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!"
And Moses said, "Here I am."
Exodus 3:2 - 4 Or, as The Message puts it: The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn't burn up.
Moses said, "What's going on here? I can't believe this! Amazing! Why doesn't the bush burn up?"
God saw that he had stopped to look. God called to him from out of the bush, "Moses! Moses!"

He said, "Yes? I'm right here!"

Then, after making as many excuses as he could think of, Moses went back to Egypt on a mission at God's command...and the rest is history.

It struck me yesterday in church - and again today, reading this passage - that Moses had to turn aside to look at the bush BEFORE God spoke to him. I wonder what would have happened if he'd just carried on walking...?


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