Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Where are you standing?"

Today's reading: Acts 7:30-36 (New International Version)

30"After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. 31When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to look more closely, he heard the Lord's voice: 32'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.' Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.

33"Then the Lord said to him, 'Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.

35"This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, 'Who made you ruler and judge?' He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36He led them out of Egypt and did wonders and miraculous signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the desert.

I am guessing at the time God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, Moses was about 55 – 60 years old, after all he was grown when fled Egypt and he had lived a lifetime in 40 years. We know from the book of Exodus that Moses married and had children during this forty years, but what I don’t know is if Moses had any regrets. I would hope not, I would hope that he recognized he was standing in God’s presence, living to fulfill God’s ultimate plan for his people.

I love the song “Standing on Holy Ground” especially sung by Barbra Streisand. I listened to it just a few nights ago which made this scripture especially meaningful. I want to imagine God’s voice speaking to Moses; I want to imagine the heat of the dessert sand on his feet. Something miraculous was happening at that moment - it was the presence of God speaking to Moses sending him forth to carry out His plan for Israel. The task Moses had ahead of him was to be the divine work of God.

When you and I respond to God we are in His divine plan, we are in His presence on holy ground. I can not say that I have heard the audible voice of God, but some people have. I recognize God’s voice speaking to me as the Holy Spirit’s nudge inside my heart and soul, and often time it is to become more involved in a specific ministry (His plan). His holy ground might also be a place where, or even when, something terrible has happened, which brings us to our knees and through which we humbly seek the presence of God, the redemptive power of God in the very midst of that terrible happening.

I don’t want to live my life out having regrets and I hope Moses didn’t. He had another forty years ahead of him in the wilderness, attempting to lead a group of people that often failed to believe in him and in God. We are told in the OT that Moses never entered the promise land. What I want to take from that is to always remember when I do what God calls me to do, what I do becomes a divine task. Where ever we recognize God's presence, that place becomes holy ground. Understanding this is to know I will have no regrets. Let us praise, praise God now, praise him anyhow, for we are standing in his sweet presence on holy ground.

Before I sign off, I want you to know Deb is at home recovering from her spinal surgery and says she is very tired but feeling much better. She sends her love and looks forward to getting back in communication with you.

Dorothy Brucks
Aldersgate UMC
Nixa, Mo.

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