The “Journey of Lifetime” is off to a wonderful start. Last Sunday we began a worship series focusing on “Generation Xodus,” the new generation of Israelites whom God delivered from slavery in Egypt, and their journey through the wilderness, surrounded by the presence of God.
In order to keep up with the story together, I am hopeful that we will all read through Exodus chapter 2 before Sunday. Then this Sunday, we’ll read the story of “The Burning Bush” from Exodus 3:1-15.
The thought of a bush burning and yet not being consumed by the flames reminds me of an image recently imprinted upon the world’s collective memory. In Beijing, the Olympic torch was recently perched atop the “bird’s nest,” the stadium in which the track and field events were held. There it was for the entire sixteen day Olympic festival, burning as a symbol of international peace and unity.
Like some kind of divine Olympic torch, Moses’ bush burns steadily and brightly, never running out of fuel. It is a sign of God’s presence, and it definitely catches Moses’ attention! He turns aside to see the flame, which gives God an opportunity to call to him and set him upon his task.
Though it may be cliché, think for a moment about what “burning bushes” God may be putting in your way in order to catch your attention. They are probably nothing nearly as dramatic as the one from our story, but most likely they are there – just those little moments every now and then when God says, “Psst! I’m over here! And I see you!”
The Olympic torch has a divine origin, in fact. It reminded the ancient Greeks of the story of Prometheus stealing fire from Zeus and bringing it to mortals. It was reintroduced into the games in 1928 in Amsterdam, and has truly become a powerful symbol of our common humanity, in spite of our national distinctions. It certainly caught my attention this year, and turned me aside from my routine in order to appreciate our global family for a little while.
This week, as we continue our journey together through the book of Exodus, my prayer is that the unquenchable fire of God’s presence will be with us. Actually I know it will be, and so my prayer is that we will notice it and turn aside from our routine long enough to allow God to speak with us for a while.
I’ll see you in church,