Readings: Exodus 33: 7-23, Psalm 99, Romans 8: 18-27
The people of legend, the people of myth, and the people of stories told for generations of how we came to be here are all people who faced our obstacles and experienced the same emotions in those obstacles. These stories are remembered, with some embellishment, I’m sure, to show how they overcame their emotions, how they overcame their challenges; how they overcame the things that we believe prevent us from moving forward. I have no doubt that we sometimes give them superhuman abilities or pin qualities to them that they didn’t have. We create them to be the people we would hope they would be; people without frailty or people who only had frailties. Those who forged new ground in places unknown are often thought of as pioneering and loyal and determined. I wonder, though how easy it would be to live with them as they pursued a different world. How easily would we get along with Mother Theresa, how comfortable would we be with Galileo, how warmly would we be able to embrace Luther or Calvin or Wesley? We see their accomplishments and we subtract their humanity from it, we subtract their failings from it, we subtract their imperfections from it.
I wonder how often we do this with Biblical characters? Today’s reading is such a beautiful reading that highlights how even Moses; the one who would represent the Law, the leader of the nation of Israel as they came to fulfil the promise of becoming a nation settled in a land given to them by divine promise, was filled with insecurities. Whatever we think about Moses, we do witness the love Moses has for God, the solid faith he has in God and we get to witness the love that God has for him and the kindness that God shows Him. Moses is by no means perfect or the ideal leader or anything that would raise him above the rest, but in his insecurities God is present and through his insecurities, God can work and all because Moses loves God deeply.
This is also an incredible story of Moses asking for something he cannot deal with because Moses is not as fully aware of everything as he is given credit for. God has to protect Moses from his request; God has to protect Moses from God’s glory. Understanding God is not something we are going to be able to do. We cannot even stare into the sun without being blinded, how much more when you stare into the light and the glory that called the sun into creation; that called the universe into existence. God in His kindness, allows Moses to see as much of God as he is able to handle, God in His mercy, reveals Himself to us in as much as we are able to handle and in as much as we need to know that He is present. Don’t ever be afraid to ask God to reveal Himself to you. Don’t ever be afraid to ask God to reveal His will to you. God will do it because God is good and whatever God does reveal will never be too much for us to handle.