A142 – Pentecost 13 (Exodus 3:1-15, Matthew 16:21-26)

 
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Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush is a both a theophany and call story. We note that Moses wasn’t looking for God, rather God took the initiative and sought him out. We unpack the mysterious and playful I AM name for God, and highlight its uniqueness as a verb. God’s dynamic character comes through in God’s numerous actions (hearing, observing, delivering, being with) with and for God’s people. 

In the Matthew passage we see Peter’s first action as the ‘new rock’ is to misunderstand the nature of Jesus’ messiahship. We ask what it is to deny oneself, and how misunderstandings of this have served to oppress minority groups. We talk about Jesus cross being the cross which defines which crosses we bear. Moses’ call and Jesus and Peter’s conversation highlight the limits of worldly wisdom: that the freedom God offers- ‘finding one’s life’- involves going to Egypt or Jerusalem to challenge injustice, enslavement and death, thereby risking one’s own death. 

Raquel St Clair, Call and Consequences – https://www.booktopia.com.au/call-and-consequences-racquel-a-st-clair/book/9780800639020.html

Fleming Rutledge And God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament – https://www.amazon.com/God-Spoke-Abraham-Preaching-Testament/dp/0802866069

Joel Baden’s Exodus Book – https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691169545/the-book-of-exodus

Joel Baden and John Collins (Yale Divinity School) discuss Exodus – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJlvfYyHwhw