So Moses, is out working for the man, in this case his father-in-law, Jethro, doing whatever it is when you are keeping the flock. In this case it seems to be wondering pretty far afield, and he finds himself near Mt. Horeb, not the one down by Madison, with the roundabouts and Norwegians, but the actual mountain of God and suddenly there is this bush that is on fire, but does not burn up.
Moses goes in closer to check it out, because, well, you just don’t see this kind of stuff every day. Now this bush speaks to him and tells him to take off his shoes because the place he is standing is holy ground.
I don’t know about you, but my first inclination would have been to keep my sandals on and run! But, have you ever tried to run in sandals, its sorta tough, so maybe, I would have stuck tight, and listened as Moses did, he was after all in the boonies, and there really wasn’t any place to run anyway.
So, he stays put and listens …”I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” So, being a Hebrew, he knew his history and his family, and this statement, even out of a burning bush would make maybe an even bigger impact. Because, as it states: “Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.” You don’t hide your face from something unknown, you hide it because of what you know and Moses already hiding from the Egyptians, wasn’t done trying to hide.
God has heard the cries of his people, and is choosing Moses to work with him to do something about it, but even with this great introduction, Moses wants more if he is going to come out of hiding. God gives him a name, well… more of description than a name; “I AM WHO I AM.”
I have always liked this for some reason. God is I AM WHO I AM. Vague? Maybe? But it is also deeply particular, I AM WHO I AM, is, not was, is, not will be, is! God fully present in the here and now, and maybe that is why Moses hid his face, to be fully present to God, fully known by God kinda makes us revert back to Adam and Eve behavior, and we want to hide. Moses will try to hide as this story goes on from our reading today. He will try to hide behind his doubt, and the doubt of others, hide behind the fact that he can’t speak well enough, but you can’t ever fully hide from God and God call’s him into the big story, and makes him a part of his promise, part of his creative and redeeming work, this is God’s call to Moses. He has a job to do and it’s not keeping Jethro’s flock, but guiding God’s flock out of slavery and into the promised land.
In the waters of baptism, we have our call too. How often do we hide from our calls to be people of God, to deliver those in bondage to sin to the freedom found in Christ? We hide behind busy schedules, our faults and insecurities, but yet God calls us and enables us in and through Christ to be active in this world.
What is God calling you to do? What do you hide behind, what are your reasons/excuses for not being part of his creative and redeeming work in this world? Listen I AM WHO I AM, is there for you right now, calling you where you are and who you are to be a blessing.