Moses had it pretty good at the moment. He had run away from all his troubles back in Egypt. He had found a woman to marry and had been accepted into his father-in-law's household, contributing to the family business by tending the sheep. All in all, pretty stable as stable went in those times.
Stable in my life and in the life of the church, however, sometimes looks like a rut. We're bound and determined to keep things stable because otherwise...well...you know, otherwise...!
And then fire comes into Moses' life. When we see fire, especially fire that's not being controlled by anyone, we begin calling 911 and sounding the alarm. Hurry! Let's get it put out! It's not where it's supposed to be!
But it could just be that fire that calls us out of our rut (which is an open-ended grave) and gets us moving, takes us back to the place of our pain and makes sure we deal with all that God has for us to do.
I love the prayers of Ted Loder, and this one is appropriate for me and in many ways for the church right now (I adapted it for use with my church council last night):
O persistent God,
deliver me from assuming your mercy is gentle.
Pressure me that I may grown more human,
not through the lessening of my struggles,
but through an expansion of them
that will unbury my gifts.
Deepen my hurt
until I learn to share it
and my needs honestly..
Sharpen my fears
until I name them
and release the power I have locked in them
and they in me.
Accentuate my confusion
until I shed those grandiose expectations
that divert me from the small, glad gifts
of the now and the here and the me.
Expose my shame where it shivers,
crouched behind the curtains of propriety,
until I can laugh at last
through my common frailties and failures,
laugh my way toward becoming whole.
from just going through the motions
and wasting everything I have
which is today,
O persistent God,
let how much it all matters
pry me off dead center
so if I am moved inside
they will be real
and I will be in touch with who I am
and who you are
and who my sisters and brothers are.
Intangible Religious Benefits
3 weeks ago