Acts 7:30-40 (NRSV)
God spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai
"Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight; and as he approached to look, there came the voice of the Lord: 'I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.' Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, 'Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have surely seen the mistreatment of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. Come now, I will send you to Egypt.'
"It was this Moses whom they rejected when they said, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?' and whom God now sent as both ruler and liberator through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 'God will raise up a prophet for you from your own people as he raised me up.' He is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living oracles to give to us. Our ancestors were unwilling to obey him; instead, they pushed him aside, and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron, 'Make gods for us who will lead the way for us; as for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.'
I am intrigued by today’s scriptural reference to “holy ground.” It seems to me that whenever God is present and speaking, the ground is holy. On this side of the cross, this reality truly excites me because I know that Jesus is called, “Emmanuel,” or “God is with us (Matthew 1: 23)!” Furthermore, I know that when Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission he said, “I will be with you always even until the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).” Finally, I know that before Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, he told his disciples, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth…You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. ‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.’” (John 14: 16-18)
In each of these GOOD NEWS verses we are given the reminder that God is always with us! Psalm 139 is one of my very favorite Bible passages because in it the psalmist intones, “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in the place of the dead, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night’, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you (vs. 7-12).”
Since it is now clear that God is always with us, then it must also be clear that we are always “standing on holy ground.” In response to this amazing reality, how shall we live? Moses was instructed by God to take off his shoes; but, it is not practical for us to walk around barefoot all day, is it? Of course not!
However, it is practical for us to take our “church mentality” out into the world, right? After all, we know that The Church is not a place, it is a people! We are The Church of the Living God!
Now, let’s keep it real. There are just some things that we always do in church because the ground is “hallowed” in our minds. For example, when we go to church we dress, speak, and act respectfully. We pay attention to the move of God and the Word of God. We remember to pray and to read our Bibles. We greet and love our neighbors well, we listen for the voice of God and we recognize The Holy all around us.
Today, God is inviting us to do the same thing outside of the four walls of the church. God is calling for us to notice God’s presence everywhere that we go! God is present on our jobs, in our families, in the faces of the homeless, in the wind, Earth, and seas! God is present absolutely everywhere!
Please stop singing, “Come by here, my Lord…” God is already here, just as God promised and God is waiting for us to realize that we are always standing on Holy Ground! Once we come to this realization, God will send us forth with a mission to lead God’s people “to the promised land” of salvation found in the heart of God and at the foot of the cross. As we carry God’s message of deliverance to the captives, God will be with us, empowering and equipping us to lead those whom we serve. Now, ain’ta that GOOD NEWS?!
Where do you notice God at work in your life today?
Omnipresent God, I am so sorry that I have often failed to notice your presence in my life! Now that my eyes are open, I see you everywhere! Now that my ears are attuned to your voice, I realize that you are constantly speaking. Please soften my heart so that I will live in the awareness that I am always standing on holy ground. Help me to share this awareness with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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The Good News Living Book Club will be reading Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard during March. You can purchase the book by clicking the link to the right. Please mark your calendars for our very first book club meeting to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 9:00am.
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From Pastor Yolanda’s blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/