One of the spiritual practices that I am using is Dwelling in The Word. The practice incudes time in prayer, reading the text twice with pausing and reflecting after each reading. Then I consider these questions through journaling:
· What catches your attention in this text?
What stands out to you?
· What questions does this text raise for you?
· What do you think that God might be saying you through this text?
Recently, the text I used was Exodus 3:1-6. This is the story of Moses at the burning bush. The following are some of my questions/reflections:
“Moses was keeping the flock of his faith-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.” (Exodus 3:1)
I am curious about their experiences going beyond the place they had been. What new sights, sounds, smells did they experience? During this time of the pandemic, we are being led to a place beyond where we have been. For example, we now have an online presence for worship, Bible study, and fellowship. It feels different as we cannot extend a hand in welcome or offer a hug of comfort. It sounds different because we cannot hear the full congregation singing together or responding in unison to the liturgy. It smells different because we cannot smell the delicious food that people bring to our potlucks.
Where is God leading us?
What will ministry/life be like as we move through the pandemic?
“Come closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5)
This season is emotionally, physically, and spiritually challenging and exhausting. There are a lot of “new” things as we learn how to use technology at home, in church, in our schools and for work. We are grieving the loss of loved ones, the loss of what was, and the ability to connect with family and friends in person. There are different opinions regarding the pandemic, the election process, and what the best next steps are.
So, how do we take off our shoes and walk gently with each other,
remembering that we are standing on holy ground?
This text is also a call story – God calls Moses by name twice and Moses responds, “Here I am”. I am curious – was Moses voice soft, loud, shaking, hesitant or bold as he responded yes to God’s call? We hear Moses later in this chapter ask, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” and God responded, “I will be with you.”
What do our voices sound like when you and when LCOC responds to God’s call?
This text is a reminder that you and LCOC are being called to a place beyond where we have been. It is both scary and exciting to be on this journey as we learn and experiment with ministry ideas and as we clarify what is important personally and for the ministry at LCOC. Like Moses, we may want to say, “Who am I to be called” and like Moses we hear God say, “I will be with you.”