outline

8 04 2008

Lately I’ve found myself outlining everything.  Breaking things down to the simplest way of explaining them.  For T&T 1 we do an awful lot of reading.  I print out the 40-50 pgs of assigned reading for the class, and then proceed to break down each chapter into the easiest, simplest sentence that helps me understand what the author is talking about.  This is spilling over into conversations, as I find myself more and more wanting to cut down the chit chat and get to the heart of the matter.

 

I’ve never been the best listener.  I’m a good talker, but not a good listener.  This kind of sucks since I’m in the ministry, and part of the package is listening.  It’s a constant struggle I fight every day–to listen more and speak less.  I think it’s inbred within us all to talk about ourselves–after all, what do we know most about, if not ourselves?

 

I’m preaching today at around 11:20 on Exodus 3:1-6.  Part of the message is about this–knowing when to look, understand, and listen.  Most of the commentaries I consulted helped me to understand how God got Moses’ attention.  He used an ordinary bush, and appeared as flames within.  Can you imagine Moses sitting on the hillside, watching the flocks, and out of the corner of his eye he notices a bush on fire.  Most scholars think that a burning bush in this area would probably not be completely out of order, so it might not have been the most alarming thing for Moses to see.  

 

But to know that the bush was burning, but not being consumed, that implies that Moses kept an eye on it.  Finally, he decided to go over and get a closer look at this strange sight.  He even tells us, “I will go over and see this strange sight, why the bush burns and is not consumed.”  He made an active choice to get a better understanding of what it was that was so unusual.

 

It was only when God had Moses’ total attention did he speak to him.  It says that God called Moses from the midst of the burning bush–“Moses!  Moses!”  I get the impression this was a spooky call like you’d hear in an old Scooby Doo cartoon.  More like, “Mo-ses!  Mo-ses!”

 

But here’s the kicker.  Moses responds with “Here I am.”  Some translate this to “See me,” or “At your service.”  He didn’t know who was calling to him, but he answered anyway.

 

He looked.  He understood.  He answered.

Are we looking?  Are we understanding what’s really going on around us?  How are we answering?  Are we listening?  Or are we too busy with our homework and families and chores and routines and personal issues and problems to listen and answer?

 

 

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