wandering in the wildernessLast night we began our Lenten evening program at St. C's.
When I was first thinking about a Lenten program, I was really stumped. I didn't know the congregation. I wandered around the local Cokesbury, came home with a plan, but it didn't feel right.
Finally, I tossed that plan and came up with the idea of five nights looking at stories about "the wilderness" in the Bible. (Right--five sessions for the topic of wilderness. Well, you have to start somewhere.)
We began last night looking at God calling Moses out of the burning bush on Mt. Horeb. (Exodus 3)
Some things jumped out at me in preparing this lesson (thank you, Terence Fretheim's commentary on Exodus in the Interpretation series).
The idea that Moses could have had a number of reactions to the burning bush (ignoring it, running away) but instead goes over to examine the bush because he's curious. Fretheim's point--curiosity leads to call.
The idea that God knew exactly what God was doing by picking Moses. He's not frightened by supernatural phenomena and he gets into long arguments with God--ergo, he's not going to be cowed by Pharoah and the appearance of pillars of cloud and fire aren't going to throw him off his game.
Above all, what jumped out at me on this reading was God continually referring to God's self as "I am the god of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac. . ." Other gods in various pantheons were gods of water, or fire, or death, or. . .gods of things. This God is a God of relationships. It's in God's own self-description .
Sounds like very good news to me.