The Ordinariness of Moses' Call

In the story of Moses’ encounter with the burning bush, we discover a God who always takes the first step toward his people. For all the Hollywood attempts to make this Bible scene terrifying and dramatic, I believe we are meant to be struck more by the ordinariness of it, because that is the kind of time when God calls out to us, plain old ordinary time. Moses was simply the fugitive son-in-law of a fellow who owned some sheep, sheep which Moses took to the greener pastures around Mount Horeb. He was not on a spiritual quest, and he likely thought the day was going to go by like any shepherd’s other. If this was the mountain of God, it was going to come as news to Moses.

In the middle of ordinary time, while we were yet sinners, it is on a day that is just like any other day there ever was, that God moves toward us, reaches out to us, calls us. We don’t have to wait for some special place or time, some sacred site, some holy day. On a day like any other, God’s gesture is extended toward us, beckoning us. It is never the wrong time to find the call of God addressed to us. This is the God who calls us in the middle of the very sort of world we live in.

- Robert J. Elder, "The Name Game," sermon on Exodus 3:1-15, preached on August 28, 2011