Growing up when I heard about the story of “Moses at the Burning Bush,” I never realized Moses had so many objections. In chapter 3 & 4 of Exodus, Moses gives God 5 different excuses for why he isn’t adequate or able to go back to Egypt. And every time, God tells him that God will go with him and work for him.
Brevard Childs says of Moses’ objections: “each objection looks to a past reality, and each response of God moves Moses to a new future.”¹ We have objections to God’s call on our lives because we have seen the dark reality of what it means to be human. We have been hurt, we have fallen short when we rely on ourselves. We have prayed and not heard answers, at least not when or how we want them.
But God continues to invite us into the future. God continues to call us to stop at the burning bush, to imagine what the future in God’s kingdom looks like. God continues to call us to love with God’s love, beyond what we are capable of ourselves.
God continues to shift our focus from the past to the present, and then to the future. When we worry about our inadequacy, God says, “you are exactly who I made you to be, and that is exactly who I need for my work.” When we worry that we don’t have what it takes to be God’s hands and feet, God reassures us that God is right beside us and that God will do all the heavy lifting.
We are all called to love. We are all called to care. We are all called to incredible acts of mercy and justice. We might well be nervous because what God has called us to is incredible. What God wants for your life, for my life, for our lives is almost unbelievable and may take some convincing. But God has been faithful. God is faithful. And God will always be.
Today, you’ve shown up again, and I am so grateful. Today, you hear again that you are called. Yes, YOU! You’ve seen the burning bush in your life, you’ve felt the prodding to love. And now God is calling you to go. In spite of what you believe to be true about yourself or the world, God is inviting you into the reality of this moment with God, the reality of the limitless future with God.
No matter our objections, which are welcome, God is resolved to set you free. Despite our hesitancy, God wants to use us to share unbelievable love with others. And because this love is so amazing, it requires your whole life.
It’s hard to accept the vastness of God’s call on our lives. But when we try to shrink down what God has for us into something simple or easily attainable, we’ve domesticated and trivialized the ferocity of God’s unyielding love. When we don’t make room for the mystery and hope of God, we are limiting God’s possibility in our lives and the lives of those around us.
So be brave. Even as you worry you aren’t enough or don’t have what it takes, hear that God is with you. Hear that God will never leave you. Hear that the hurt and pain you may know to be true right now is not what God sees for you forever. Know that God’s plans for you and those around you are so incredible that we might have a hard time believing them.
But we show up. We talk with God, even object if we must. And then we go, knowing that God is with us, for us, and leads us into the endless possibility of life and love with God.
-Grace & Peace, Pastor Cole
1. Brevard Childs quoted in: Walter Brueggemann, The New Interpreter’s Bible, “Exodus 3:1-4:31 Commentary,” (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1994), 713.