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Tagged – Encounters with a Revealing God
A close look at graffiti will reveal something about the artist behind the work. This urban art form is a channel for self-disclosure. Through the content and beauty of these expressions we learn something personal about the author.
God is moving through time, ‘tagging’ human history with acts of self-revelation. The transcendent Creator shows up in time and space to speak his name among mere mortals. If we take time to ponder those occasions it will enhance understanding and deepen our trust in him. Familiarity with these epiphanies will prepare us for the ways God intends to freshly reveal himself in our own lives.
An Experiment . . .
Throughout the season of Lent we hope to generate interaction with our Sunday teaching by encouraging people to tweet about what they are hearing. You’re free to tweet during the sermon or later Sunday afternoon. On Monday morning I’ll respond to the conversation by blogging here.
“I am that I am”
From within a burning bush Moses heard God’s call to deliver the Hebrews from the tyranny of Pharaoh and their oppression in Egypt. Moses objected, suggesting that God had made a mistake in selecting him – believing he lacks the competencies required for the task. God was unfazed by Moses’ lack of skill. He promised Moses that he would be actively present in the way in which the situation required, in the way he most needed God, compensating for his inadequacies.
Just this morning, a member of our congregation returned to work to discover that someone from the work context had died on the weekend. Now she faces the difficult challenge of helping a grieving family member cope with the lost – a task complicated by the fact that the deceased suffered from significant personal issues. Reflecting on Moses’ encounter with God she said with some assurance,
“That God knows my inability and ability and hasn’t necessarily called me to this work because of a mastered skill but promises that when I stay in it He is in it with me.”
Someone else noted that the ‘burning bush’ experiences are relatively rare in life. Commenting on the life of another patriarch he said,
“When you look at the story of Abraham and think about the long, long gaps between his encounters with God, you realize that sometimes we are challenged to walk in faith, alone – for a while.”
My friend is right. We can go long stretches in the life of faith without experiencing dramatic epiphanies. It is misguided to expect that our regular interactions with God come clothed in something as supernatural as a voice from a burning bush. However, God is neither distant nor inactive, but comes to us disguised in the rhythms of everyday ordinary life. Like Moses our task is to be alert – to wake up, drawn near and listen for his promptings.
Someone else asked,
“Has the way God interacts with His people changed since? Where’s the burning bush nowadays?”
While there may be long periods of time between extraordinary divine encounters, I don’t think they’re non-existent. OK, can’t say I’ve ever seen a burning bush that doesn’t get consumed by the fire. But I’ve heard plenty of stories from trustworthy friends and had enough ‘weird’ experiences of my own to stay with the belief that God may at anytime speak through supernatural circumstances. . . But just my opinion.
What do you think?