Thursday, February 07, 2013

For Sunday, February 10, 2013

Readings:  Exodus 34:29-35 and 2 Corinthians 3:12 - 4:6

Moses is not a born or natural leader, but he is what the people need to find their way through the wilderness.

Born into a tribe of slave labourers being gradually exterminated by their masters, Moses miraculously is adopted into the royal household and groomed for management in the kingdom.  He is a failure, though.  One day, trying to intervene with a fellow-manager to stop the abuse of a labourer, the other manager so blatantly ignores Moses' authority that Moses in anger kills him -- not a good management style.

Fleeing to the desert Moses finds a job herding sheep, and does well enough that he marries a daughter of the man who owns the flocks 

But when God calls him back to Egypt to be his people's liberator, he is in over his head again.  He needs Aaron to go with him as spokesman, because Moses stutters.  He relies on God's plagues to get the pharoah's attention.  And then it's only God's power to lead the people through the water at the last minute and not allow the Egyptians to do the same that gets the people through at a critical time.

So far Moses has not really proven himself as the leader the people need.  But then there begins the shining.

Moses (for God's own reason) is invited to go up the holy mountain and converse with God -- to get God's word for the people, and when Moses comes down his face is shining.  Up on the mountain the glory of God warms and irradiates his spirit, and when he comes down the glow of the glory is still on him for all to see -- exactly what the people need to see, to know that in spite of Moses' limitations and liabilties, they can trust what he has to say as being God's word of life for them.

Question 1:  Are there any leaders like that today -- in the church, or in the world, who bear the glow of something greater than their own (limited) agenda and personal vision?  Who inspire people to follow just because of what greater and glorious thing we see reflected in them?  

Paul in his letter to the Corinthians suggests something interesting -- that now, after Christ, it's not so much individual leaders but the whole community of faith that bears the glory of God into the world, to inspire others to believe and to follow.  

Question 2:  No doubt we feel as limited and full of liabilites as Moses, because we are.  But we are also (for God's own reason) invited into conversation with God.  And when we do that -- when we enter into conversation with God, do we then glow with God's glory?  Is there something that others see in us that they need to see, to be inspired to follow?

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