Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Tue, 23/08/2011 – 11:40
Year A (2010-2011)
Bible Book: Exodus / Eksodus
Verse: 1 – 15
Text: Exodus 3:1-15
Moses’ encounter with God in the text before us today changed his destiny, and that of the children of Israel. God called, “Moses! Moses!” He answered: “Here I am! That’s where it all began. God’s method is to use human instruments to reach out to the suffering.
It was a bush at the foot of Mt. Horeb – burning, yet not getting consumed – that caught Moses’ attention. The place assumed particular significance because God was in it. It is declared ‘holy ground’.
This brings me to John’s story. I could not have written this account, but for the experience of holding John’s hand – a man my family knew well – a friend whose body was burning on account of AIDS. I was his doctor.
The picture of him lying so frail and thin on the bed comes back to me almost each day. I can still count his bones. He could barely speak. But his softly spoken words have weighed heavy on my heart. Before this man died, he challenged me. What more can you do to save my life? I told him I was doing all I could, using all of my knowledge and training as a medical doctor. He told me that I needed to know more.
I told him of my own faith journey – of the promises of the God of Abraham and the promise of an abundant life through Jesus Christ. Lacking a faith in a higher power, John could not see beyond his own existence. He was afraid. I was too. I felt like I was sent to rescue a drowning man not knowing how to swim.
And my friend died. But we’d prayed together for him to embrace faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
For two years John’s challenge burned in my heart – I needed to learn more. How could I have prevented his death from AIDS? How could I have prevented him from contracting HIV? I cared for many patients after this experience. But I was unsettled. I came to the conclusion that only faith could have comforted him in his last days.
So I accepted His challenge by going to college. Crisis always demands a response.
God called me into the AIDS ministry through this encounter. The rest is history.
Because Moses heeded God’s call, we now have story and book of Exodus. God was present not only in the burning bush, but also in Egypt. He saw it was time to act. Moved by the pain and suffering of His people, God saw it was time to act. He came down.
“Go, Moses, bring my people out of Egypt”, was the imperative. He counted on a human instrument to carry out his plan – a demonstration of love, compassion and faithfulness.
Moses doubted. He had several objections. Only two of them are captured in Exodus 3:11-15. First, he asked God: “Who am I?” It’s no wonder he couldn’t bring himself to comply. He had been a fugitive for 40 years. He was a wanted man by the Egyptian Police. He was rejected by his own people. Now he was in the wilderness – looking after Jethro’s sheep.
“Go – I will be with you”. What an assurance of His presence! Moreover, God gave Moses a promise: “You will worship me on this very mountain when Israel is out of Egypt”.
The second objection: “They’ll not believe me”. To this God replied, “Go tell them that I AM WHO I AM has sent you. He who is, who was, and who will always be, is the one sending you to them. This is the name God is to be known by forever – “from generation to generation” (3:15b).
God, who was present with Moses, is the same God who is calling you and me today, to go make a difference in the lives of the millions suffering from the pain of AIDS-related stigma.
Our God is eternally present with us wherever and whenever there is pain and suffering. He longs to use you and me – our doubts and fears notwithstanding – to release many from pain, fear and stigma.
To think about: What would an Exodus from the bondage of AIDS and its related conditions mean for Africa?
Author: Okaalet P (Dr)