Two confessions to introduce this post and give you some context:
- I avoid the Old Testament (OT) like the plague. It’s violent, full of lists of names that I can’t pronounce and inevitably falls under the “mostly irrelevant to the whole Jesus thing” file in my brain.
- I might be one of those people that reads ahead in a book. Maybe even reads the end first. Eek!
Sunday morning was the first message in a summer series at The Meeting House called The Chosen One. I *might* have groaned when I saw that it was going to be about Moses and the book of Exodus. I will gladly listen to messages on the life and heart of Jesus. Sermon on the Mount? I am all ears. Fruit of the Spirit? Count me in. Loving and serving your neighbour? I will show up with a pen in hand and take copious amounts of notes. All. Day. Long. The Old Testament? It hearkens back to Sunday School stories and felt boards. The Bible I carry around doesn’t even have it. Have I made my point?
Now, the church did a great job of trying to convince me that this series about Moses is going to be riveting. I mean, a darn good job. Hollywood-worthy previews were revealed three Sundays in a row. Amazing graphics and suspense-filled music beckoned me to attend. Tweets were sent and hashtags were created to build up momentum. The fact that I show up 99/100 Sundays doesn’t hurt either.
Come Sunday morning, I still didn’t bring with me a Bible that has the OT. My inner brat decided my electronic version of the Bible would suffice because Lord knows, I won’t need to underline anything or take any notes. I may even need extra caffeine to keep me from nodding off.
As I checked out the program notes I saw that there were references to passages in the OT AND the New Testament. My heart sped up a little; I saw a flicker of hope. There just might be something redemptive here after all!
As the introduction began, my attention was kept by a very interesting comparison between Moses and Jesus. As the speaker moved on to examining the text verse-by- verse, my mind started to wander. This is where my second confession comes in.
I moved ahead and kept reading further on in Exodus. Can I tell you? I don’t remember the part about Moses being cared for by his bio mom for the first three years because of some quick thinking and a little deception on the part of Moses’ sister. They must have skipped that part in Sunday school. I moved on to Exodus chapter 3. This is where things start to heat up (see what I did there?). God tells Moses he has heard the Israelites cries and is going to respond. How? He tells Moses in verse 10: Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” Moses is obviously as reasonable and practical as I am because he answers with (verse 11):
“But, why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharoah and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?“ And do you know what the response was??
3:12 “I’ll be with you, God said”
And this is where I went over a cliff.
You see, I am pretty unqualified for just about everything. (Maybe except making babies….). I received acceptance to university but became a young mom instead. I went to college for a year before I entered the workforce full time in order to be able to provide for my family. That was more than fifteen years ago. From there, life just happened. (Just last month I finished my first university course on International Women’s Health and Human Rights with Stanford University online! #humblebrag).
Coupled with my lack of credentials is, unfortunately, passion. *Side note: More than once God has reminded to have passionate patience. Aren’t those words antonyms?* I love God and want nothing more than to know Him, love Him, show Him and serve Him. My heart is heavy for the poor and marginalized and I want, no I have, to do something. But my lack of _________________(insert professional degree or important piece of paper) holds me back. How can I make any difference when there is Bono and Bill Gates leading the charge with their smarts and credibility?
After crashing into Exodus 3, I now asked how in the world was Moses a great choice on paper for the leader of the Israelites and conqueror of Egypt?
God still chose him.
All that was required was a response. God told Moses to come. When questioned, God calmly explained (albeit through an intimidating fiery bush) that Moses qualified because God was with Him. Can you think of anything more credible than that?
So, next time, when God calls me to come, I will move. Not because I have confidence in my abilities or intellect but because He is with me.
My next move, you can be sure, will be to show up for the rest of the Chosen One series with a pen, Bible and the attitude of a humbled student.