First Saturday of Lent/Feb 28

Exodus 3:1-6 (NRSV)

“Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

In the Old Testament we read about some pretty unusual ways God made himself known. This would have to one of the more miraculous, through an ordinary day in the desert with a bush that was suddenly on fire but was not consumed. It seemed God wanted Moses’ full attention. He waited to speak until Moses turned aside, and when he did, he called him by name.

I’ve never had God speak through a burning bush, but I never cease to marvel at all the ways he does speak to me. Through scripture, through circumstances, through other people, through a quiet sense of “knowing” if I’m seeking and open to hearing. He knows what I need before I ask and speaks to me personally and intimately in a way that lets me know I am loved. The challenge, often, is stilling myself enough to listen.

What does God have to do to get my attention? Have your ever felt his presence in the midst of everyday life, perhaps through an amazing conversation or uncanny coincidence where it seemed like God intervened or gave you what you needed or suddenly removed an obstacle in your path? Which do you find more miraculous, that God could speak out of a burning bush or that he calls you by name?

Today’s prayer practice: praying from the heart

Reflect for a moment on your week and all that has kept you busy and preoccupied. Put yourself in Moses’ place and imagine God breaking through to you in an unexpected way. How would you feel? How would you respond? How do you think God would describe himself to you? Would you be afraid, as Moses was? If you’ve seen or heard God in amazing ways, talk to him about how that felt. If you’re not sure you’ve ever heard him call you, talk to him about that. Is it that God isn’t speaking or that your attention is elsewhere? Take time to be still, be aware, and listen.

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