Sermon Tone Analysis
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Now Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, a priest of Midian.
He was driving the flock out into the wilderness, and he came to the mountain of God, Horeb.
An angel of Yaweh appeared to him in the flames of the fire in the midst of the bush.
Moses saw, and look: the bush burned with fire, but the bush was not consumed!
So Moses said, “I should turn aside and look at this amazing sight.
Why does the bush not burn up?” Yahweh saw that he turned aside to look.
God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”
He said, “Here I am!”
He said, “Do not come near here!
Take off your sandals from your feet, because the place which you are standing on is holy ground.”
He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
And Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look toward God.
Yahweh said, “I have surely seen the suffering of my people who are in Egypt.
I have heard their crying before their oppressors.
Yes, I know their pain!
I have come down to deliver them from the hand of Egypt and to bring them up from that land to a good and broad land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
Now behold: the crying of the Israelites has come to me, and I know the oppression with which Egypt oppresses them.
Now go, and I will send you to Pharaoh.
You will bring up my people, Israel, from Egypt.
But moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring up Israel from Egypt?”
He said, “I will be with you, and this is a sign for you that I sent you: When you lead the people out from Egypt you will serve God on this very mountain.”
Now Moses said to Yahweh, “Please Lord, I am not a great speaker, neither yesterday, nor in times past, nor since the time you spoke these things to your servant, for I am slow of mouth and slow of tongue.”
Yahweh said to him, “Who put a tongue in man?
Or who makes them mute or deaf, or seeing or blind?
Is it not I, Yahweh?
Now go, I will be with your mouth and teach you what to say.”
But he said, “Please Lord! Please send someone else!” Yahweh grew angry with Moses.
He said, “Doesn’t Aaron your brother, the Levite, know how to speak well?
Look: He is coming up to meet with you.
When he sees you his heart will be glad.
You will speak to him and give him these words.
I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and teach you both what to do.
He will speak for you to the people.
He will be a mouth for you, and you will be God for him.
Take this staff in your hand with which you will perform signs.”
Looking for Burning Bushes
Calling begins with attentiveness
Not just attentiveness to God, but to the world around us
Bush is not as glamorous as we have come to think.
Moses must have been attentive to even notice such a thing
As we are attentive, God draws our attention not only to him, but to the things in the world that He is attentive to
God, too, is attentive.
He hears and sees the cry of his people
When we are attentive, we hope to hear and see as God hears and sees.
Even if we don’t, we can at least hope for God to make these things clearer to us
The Holy Spirit, like God in the bush, calls out to us and tells of the things God hears and sees, if we’ll only pay attention
Sacred and Mundane
God often draws our attention to him through the mundane
Bush is common, not some grand spectacle.
Moses was herding sheep, not praying at temple
God uses common things for holy work
Thus, we should not neglect the ordinary things in life.
Herding sheep may very well be transformed by God’s spirit into a sacred act
We can encounter God at all times and in every place.
Thus we must be attentive to God in all times at every place!
“Holy Ground” is wherever God is.
But God is not constrained to the temple or the church building.
We may stumble upon Holy Ground in surprisingly ordinary places.
When we do find that the Spirit calls out to us like the bush to Moses, perhaps we may experience some of Moses’s own timidity and hesitancy at God’s calling
Who are we to address the injustice of the world?
Who are we to speak to kings, princes, mayors, or those who do wrong?
God does not call us without preparing us, however.
Moses was already a shepherd of sheep, leading his flock out into the wilderness to the mountain of God.
In this, God had prepared him to lead his people Israel out into the wilderness to the mountain of God.
Moses had already stood up to the injustices of Egypt, to prevent the oppression of the Israelites.
God had already providentially provided Moses with the skills and character to act on this calling.
God not only provides the calling, but empowers us to pursue it.
If God calls us to something, God will provide the way to act on it.
As God tells Moses, “I will be with you.”
Christ is with us, Emmanuel
Strength in Weakness
This doesn’t mean that God only calls perfect people, however.
Moses’s speech impediment
Odd that one who can’t speak does so well at arguing with God!
Moses’s arguing shows:
God never acts without human consideration.
He will not call us to something without hearing our voice
God may even go so far as to alter his plan for our comfort and assurance
Even so, what might have happened if Moses had responded with faith in God?
God works with frail humans, even doubting humans.
Even so, learning to trust God, his presence with us, and the gifts he’s given us no doubt helps!
We ought not object to God, “but I am weak!” when we know that He is strong.
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