Exodus 3:16-4:20 Transtion “From Shepherd with Staff to on God’s Staff”
Refection/Discussion: What would God have to do to get your attention and commitment to take on a new mission in life? How do you usually respond (internally) to someone who claims “God told me xyz?” What three objections does Moses raise before God? Are they ‘real’ or excuses? How does God respond? Why do you think God is so angry in 4:14? What is God saying to you through this passage about followng God’s leading?
In this sermon, using the children’s message around objects that represent things that people love to do, are good at, which sometimes turn into a paying job as well, I spoke of the Reformed teaching that everyone has a vocation from God. From the bible passage I leaned into the image of the Staff that Moses was holding as he conversed with God about the call God was putting on him to go and shepherd his people out of slavery. We looked at the objections Moses raised, at how the questions “Who am I?” and “Who are you (God)?” are in fact an inportant starting point. I noted how gracious God was (and is) in answering each objection. I finished by looking again at how the Staff which Moses was holding — which represented what he already was doing (shepherding and knowing the lay of the wilderness) — turned into a thing to be feared when he began obeying God by tossing it on the ground, and then, how God challenges him to grab the thing he feared now by the tail. The Staff now had new layers of meaning and importance! I finished by asking these questions of the congregation:
Do you know, in a specific way what God is calling or sending you to do?
What is already in your hand that God might be able to take to another level even though you are afraid?
What are your existing shortcomings? Have you learned to name them and face them and grab them by the tail with God’s help and the help of God’s people?