What's Your Bush?

February 14, 2019 by Jeff Klein

Most of us have read or heard the story of Moses. Run out of Egypt as a murderer, he ends up tending sheep in the wilderness for 40 years. This was probably not the dream Moses had for his life. Probably not where he saw himself ending up when he grew up in the Pharaoh's house in Egypt.

But God had a different plan for Moses life.

And God chose an interesting way to reveal it to Moses.

Exodus tells us that Moses saw a bush on fire while tending his father-in-law’s sheep. Now this wasn’t probably the first fire like it that Moses would have seen. Brush fires would have been fairly common in the wilderness of Israel.

But what I find interesting is that this time Moses noticed and actually said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight.” All of a sudden Moses chose to pay attention to something he had undoubtedly seen before.

The rabbis make a big deal out of this. They point out that this was a life changing moment for Moses because he “turned aside” in the midst of his normal routine and noticed this bush that burned but didn’t burn up.

What would have happened if Moses had just passed that bush by and written it off as just another brush fire? How might that have changed the course of Moses life? What might Moses have missed had he not been paying attention?

Noticing takes a lot of forms. I can notice that the garbage is full and write it off as “not my problem” and move on with my life. I can notice that my neighbor has done something different with their yard or that my daughter has a new look. Life is full of stuff to pay attention to, and everyday, we make choices about where we will really focus our brains and our attention.

But then, there is a different kind of noticing. A deeper noticing. One that causes you to turn aside and really look. And just like Moses found, God is usually in that deeper noticing, waiting for us to pay attention. And when we do, we often find ourselves on holy ground and have to take our shoes off.

But a lot of us are not like Moses. Most of us live our lives caught up in all of our own self-focused pursuits. What if we learned to see? To really pay attention? To turn aside and wonder what God might be up to?

We find ourselves as a church in the middle of a giant spiritual awareness campaign involving over 950 churches across Chicago. How does God want you to engage and be part of this where you live, work, and play? What do you think God is up to in your neighborhood, at your job, or in the places where you live work and play?

What does God want you to stop and notice and really see?

Who does God want you to stop and notice and really see?

For Moses, it was the bush. What is it for you?

~ Rev Klein

Rev Klein is ECRC's new Pastor of Outreach, effective February 2019.

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