Take It With You 10.10.2021
The life of Moses has been a topic of rich discussion for millenia. To this day he is considered the greatest prophet by the Jews, and in Jesus’ time he would have been considered the closest a man could get to God. But his humble birth gave no indication of that fate. How did this man, only narrowly escaping from the yoke of slavery, come to lead his people out of Egypt, give them the Law, and lead them to the Promised Land? The answer comes in this short passage, where by his curiosity the exiled shepherd was drawn to the soft light of the burning bush.
We often miss the intimate magnitude of this scene. “I know about the burning bush alright”, we say, inevitably thinking back to the illustration we saw in a children’s bible, or perhaps picturing a real bush we’ve seen burn. But all of those pictures pale in comparison to what Moses beheld. When Moses beheld the bush, the light no longer simply pierced his sight but, as Gregory of Nyssa put it, “his hearing too was illuminated by the rays of light. The light’s grace was distributed to both senses, illuminating the sight with flashing rays and lighting the way for the hearing with undefiled teachings.” Moses did not flee from what must have been a fearful scene (both fear in the sense of a respect for the divine and a simple terror that would have arisen from the situation). Instead, he let the light’s grace fill both his senses, listening to God as he gazed upon the bush with awe and wonder.
The Exodus story is filled with the stuff of Epics: plagues, chases, revolts and redemptions. But never forget that before all of that, it started with a light, giving grace to both senses. Do we ever overlook the light in our lives, wherever it may be? Are we letting the light’s grace illuminate both our senses? In other words, are we being as receptive to the message? Do we stay to see and hear it like Moses, or do we walk away? Do we, like Moses, question it and try to find a way out, or do we obey? We may not all be at a point where we can lead our people out of bondage, but neither was Moses. It was only by the grace of God was he ever able to do such great feats, so we need never to despair of God’s grace and His plan for us.
~ Matt Miller