Summary: God meets us in the every day of our lives and calls us to something great.
“It Was an Ordinary Working Day”
Exodus 3:1-12; 4:10-12
Ann left her dorm and took the subway to her medical school.
It was just another ordinary day.
She was meeting up with another medical student with whom she would be sharing a dead body.
They would be dissecting the dead body before finally being let loose on live ones.
The other student’s name was John.
As they looked over the corpse, John asked Ann whether she went to church.
Ann replied that she used to go as a child but hasn’t been in a long time.
Then John surprised Ann with this question: “Do you know God?” he asked.
This question rattled her.
She didn’t know how to think about it.
John invited Ann to go to a United Methodist Church near campus with him.
And the rest is history.
On this ordinary working day, Ann suddenly found herself on the threshold of meeting with God.
Michael was sitting in the break room at the restaurant where he was a waiter.
Other restaurant employees were talking about and making fun of the new dishwasher—Hector.
Hector was Mexican and spoke very little English.
He was a hard worker, and always gave Michael a big smile when he dropped off a dirty plate or glass.
Michael had met Hector’s family.
He had two very well-behaved young children and a lovely wife.
Hector was doing all he could to provide for his family, and yet, he was only making minimum wage as a dishwasher.
On several occasions, Michael had seen Hector and his family enter a church right around the corner from where Michael lived.
That next Sunday, Michael went to Hector’s Church.
Hector’s family greeted him warmly.
Hector’s children sat as close to Michael as they could.
After worship, Hector invited Michael over to his small apartment for a lunch of black beans and rice.
Little did Michael know that he was on the threshold of meeting with God.
His life would never be the same again.
Our Scripture Lesson for this morning opens on an ordinary working day.
“Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law.”
And as a shepherd, Moses was on the move with his flock.
He was on his own and wouldn’t get home for dinner, or even bedtime.
Moses had come a long way since his time in Pharaoh’s court as a “prince” in Egypt.
After defending an Israelite and killing an Egyptian Moses fled to Midian where he ended up marrying one of Jethro’s daughters.
They had a son and then settled down.
And Moses became a shepherd keeping Jethro’s flocks.
It’s wasn’t exciting work, but it kept food on the table.
It wasn’t glamorous work, but then, Moses had fallen a long way.
He had pretty much settled in his mind that this would be his lot in life.
He wasn’t expecting much.
And so the years went by, and before he knew it, Moses had been tending his father-in-law’s sheep for 40 years.
All the bright promise of his youth had come to this.
Then God just shows up.
Entirely on His own initiative.
All Moses saw at first was a blazing bush, but a very funny one, one that wasn't getting burnt up.
The spectacle surprised him, of course; and he went over to get a closer look.
Only then did a Voice come from the bush, and what it spoke was Moses' name: "Moses, Moses."
Something—Somebody?—knew him by name, called him by name.
That must have been at least as disconcerting as an incombustible talking bush.
I mean, what do you say to a talking bush that calls you by name?
All Moses could think of to say was: “Here I am.”
Kind of like saying, “Yeah. That’s me.”
Or, “Uh Huh.”
Moses didn’t even know Who God was at this point.
The warning from the flaming bush not to come closer might, under the circumstances, seem like a kind of “no duh” moment; but the command to take off his shoes and the word about the ground being holy began to shed a little light on Who the speaker might be.
And so, Moses found himself on the threshold of meeting God.
And his initial reaction was to hide his face in fear.
Then the Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.
I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.”
God is always concerned about the suffering of people.
God hears our cries when we are oppressed—whether by other people, economic realities, addictions, or our own fears.
God’s concern for justice is a reoccurring theme in the Old Testament.
The Psalms sing about it.
The prophets denounce it.
The greatest salvation act in the Old Testament, after all, is God’s freeing of the Hebrews from bondage.