Easter - 2018

Monday, June 21, 2010

Listen Up - God is Talking!

A cell phone commercial asks, "Can you hear me now?" The assumption is that one can hear any place, any time, in any situation through this miraculous technology -- the latest cell phone device and service. I have this service and it is a great service, but I still have dropped calls. There is a connection that I have found, never gets dropped. It is my connection with God. He always gives me his attention, even when I don't listen or get distracted, or intentionally don't answer, He still gives me the time of day.

Moses had this experience. When the voice of God comes from a burning bush that is not consumed -- "Can you hear me now?" -- Moses finds excuse after excuse for not hearing or listening to God's call. Moses has good reason and credible excuses, at least in his mind, to resist, but God, nonetheless, persists in calling. God's call is key to the liberation and ultimate purposes and destiny of the Hebrew people.

Moses has come a long way since his time in Pharaoh's court as a "prince" in Egypt. A quick recap sees Moses, in defending an Israelite, killing an Egyptian. Moses flees to Midian where he meets the priest Jethro and his seven daughters. Moses stays in Midian, marries one of Jethro's daughters, Zipporah, bears a son, Gershom, and settles down as a shepherd keeping Jethro's flocks.

It has been said by a desert mystic, "He will never be a prophet who was not first a herdsman." Here Moses has time for the incubation of his soul in solitude and quietness. Shepherding sheep is quite a contrast to our modern mad rush in a country whose national monument is Rushmore. It is in the wilderness near Horeb, the mountain of God, that Moses is confronted with fire, a bush that is not consumed, and the mighty call of God.

We, too, are called as Christians, not necessarily from burning bushes and fiery theophanies, but in more common and ordinary ways. We are called, chosen, and summoned through word and sacrament, through both mundane and extraordinary experiences, and also through the body of believers. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:26-27: "Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards ... but God chose what is foolish...."

The Greek word for call is klesis and kletos. In the New Testament, God's klesis is an upward call (Philippians 3:14), a holy call (2 Timothy 1:9), a heavenly call (Hebrews 3:1), and, throughout the New Testament, a shared call (1 Corinthians 1:26; 2 Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 3:10). Followers of Christ are also called in hope (Ephesians 1:18; 4:4). "As an upward, holy, heavenly, shared, and hopeful call, God's invitation calls us to himself and his purposes. God invites us to share his joy and his purpose. Central to that purpose is the salvation of the world."

Listening Up - Don

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