Note: Due to technical difficulties, there's no podcast for this week. Don't hate us. We'll have our act together for next week. Really, really sorry.
But as you work your way through our recap this week, we invite you to explore these questions:
1. What is your deepest gladness?
2. Where do you see the world's deepest need?
3. Where do those places intersect?
4. Who or what might be the burning bush (or bushes) in your life?
Exodus 3:1-14 (MSG)
Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, Horeb. The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up. Moses said, “What’s going on here? I can’t believe this! Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?” God saw that he had stopped to look. God called to him from out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” He said, “Yes? I’m right here!” God said, “Don’t come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You’re standing on holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face, afraid to look at God. God said, “I’ve taken a good, long look at the affliction of my people in Egypt. I’ve heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain. And now I have come down to help them, pry them loose from the grip of Egypt, get them out of that country and bring them to a good land with wide-open spaces, a land lush with milk and honey, the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. “The Israelite cry for help has come to me, and I’ve seen for myself how cruelly they’re being treated by the Egyptians. It’s time for you to go back: I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the People of Israel, out of Egypt.” Moses answered God, “But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?” “I’ll be with you,” God said. “And this will be the proof that I am the one who sent you: When you have brought my people out of Egypt, you will worship God right here at this very mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the People of Israel and I tell them, ‘The God of your fathers sent me to you’; and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What do I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I-AM-WHO-I-AM. Tell the People of Israel, ‘I-AM sent me to you.’”
Exodus 4:1, 10-12, 13-17 (MSG)
In the following passages, you'll notice that Moses can't believe God would call someone like him to do something like that! Have you ever felt unqualified? Insignificant? Like you don't have the right gifts? Pay special attention to what God says in response to Moses' objections.
Moses objected, “They won’t trust me. They won’t listen to a word I say. They’re going to say, ‘God? Appear to him? Hardly!’”
Moses raised another objection to God: “Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.” God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, God? So, get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.”
He said, “Oh, Master, please! Send somebody else!” God got angry with Moses: “Don’t you have a brother, Aaron the Levite? He’s good with words, I know he is. He speaks very well. In fact, at this very moment he’s on his way to meet you. When he sees you he’s going to be glad. You’ll speak to him and tell him what to say. I’ll be right there with you as you speak and with him as he speaks, teaching you step by step. He will speak to the people for you. He’ll act as your mouth, but you’ll decide what comes out of it. Now take this staff in your hand; you’ll use it to do the signs.”
We also shared stories this morning during worship of ordinary people who God called to do extraordinary things. These stories served to reinforce Amanda's message and we hope these stories will inspire you to continue to listen to what God is calling you to do.
Rosa Parks was born February 4th, 1913. When she was 42, she refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white passenger, which at the time, the law required of African Americans. She was arrested for her act of civil disobedience and worked with others from the NAACP to start the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The resulting integration of city buses in Montgomery ignited the civil rights movement in the United States and inspired nonviolent movements for social change around the world.
On February 1st, 1960, four college students - Ezell A. Blair Jr., David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain - initiated the first sit-in demonstration at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. The store manager ignored the protestors, hoping they would leave. The next day, twenty-seven more students came to protest. By February 5th, three hundred students had arrived, igniting a mass movement of sit-ins for desegregation throughout the South.
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in the 1820s. In 1849, she had a vision that compelled her to run away, traveling under the cover of night with only the North Star as her guide. Arriving safely in Pennsylvania, she felt like she was in heaven. "I had crossed the line," she wrote. "I was FREE; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom." Tubman committed herself to helping others escape to freedom, guiding at least three hundred fugitive slaves to Canada over the course of fifteen years. To those who traveled under her guidance, she was known as Moses.
Oskar Schindler was a German living in Czechoslovakia when he joined the Nazi party in 1939. When Germany invaded Poland later that same year, he moved to Krakow and took over two manufacturing companies and, like many other businessmen there, made his fortune using cheap labor - Jews from the Krakow ghetto. When he began to witness the Germans killing and deporting Jews in the ghetto, Oskar was moved to transfer the Jewish workers from his factory to a safe place. Later, he received permission from the Germans to move not only his workers but other Jews as well to his native land of Czechoslovakia. Over time, Schindler's occupation changed, until ultimately the rescue of the Jews became his top priority. Using the factory as cover, he saved more and more Jews, putting his own life in danger. Ultimately, Schindler saved twelve hundred Jews from death, and today there are more than seven thousand descendants of the Schindler Jews living all over the world.
They called him Cowboy Dan. Dan West, born in Ohio in 1893, was a farmer, a conscientious objector during World War I, and a relief worker in Spain following the Spanish Civil War. As he was ladling out rations of milk to children during his time as a relief worker, he knew that because the supply of rations was limited, there wouldn’t be enough. He knew it never would be. “These children don’t need a cup,” he thought. “They need a cow.” So he returned home, talked to people, built enthusiasm and, in 1944, the first shipment of 17 heifers left York, Pennsylvania bound for Puerto Rico, going to families whose malnourished children had never even tasted milk. Since then, the organization he founded, Heifer International, has fed millions of families in 128 countries – giving them the gift of self-reliance and hope.
Podoconiosis. That’s what started it all. And it’s as bad as it sounds. Basically, it’s a disfiguring and debilitating disease that causes your feet and lower legs to swell so much that it’s hard to move. On top of that, people look at you funny and you quickly become a social outcast. The best way to prevent it is to wear shoes. So on a visit to Argentina where he saw this disease firsthand, Blake Mycoskie – just an ordinary guy from Texas – felt the need to help – to do something about it. And with that, the one for one movement we know as TOMS Shoes was born. As of April 2010, TOMS has given over 1 million shoes to children in need throughout the world.
The following quote was projected and distributed during Communion.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Setlist (iTunes links provided)
Here I Am/Giving It All to You