Thursday, March 09, 2006

wandering in the wilderness

Last 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.


At 8:34 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Brilliant! It never would have occurred to me no matter how many times I read that passage!

Wish I could join y'all since I am figuratively in the wilderness and it is getting rather quiet and spooky out here all alone.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Questing Parson said...

"Curiosity leads to call." I had missed that before. Thank you. As they say: That will preach.

At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that God himself calls for relationships with his creations!

Very thoughtful post - Thanks!

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Prayerful Knitter - Shelly said...

Emily, I love reading your blog and I'm thrilled to be getting to know you.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


At 9:55 PM, Blogger Wayne said...

Hi Emily,
I decided to drop in on your blog and ended up spending way more time than I had alloted. Thank you for your thoughtful musings and for the laughs. If it is ok with you I would like to put it on my daily reads on my blog.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Hi and thanks for dropping by to all.


Wayne--by all means!

At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

- what a wonderful topic to explore for LENT - I've run into
several folks who say they are
"in the wilderness" - we're doing
the Nickey Gumbel thing - HE'S SO-O-O CHARMING. . . (you know ALPHA
don't you ?)

At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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