Sunday’s Scripture ~ Exodus 3:1-10.
My home church is First United Methodist Church of Lakeland – ahhh Polk County! After receiving my call to serve God by serving the church at the age of eleven I shared my call with my Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Riley Short. From that time forward Riley encouraged me to pursue present opportunities to live into and live out my call.
One of those early opportunities was to lead the Children’s Moment during worship – an offering that I continue to look forward to each and every Sunday!
One Sunday (like this coming Sunday) my children’s sermon was based upon Moses at the burning bush. The children were invited forward to sit on riser steps leading up to the chancel. One of my favorites – a boy named Larry that always styled a spiked mohawk – the tips of said mohawk were usually electric blue – perched himself on the highest step. I began to tell the story of Moses at the burning bush and afterwards I asked the group of children, “What was so amazing about the burning bush?”
Larry hollered, “The bush was on fire!”
“Yes, that is right! And what else was amazing about the bush?”
Anticipating answers like, “And the bush did not burn up!” and “God spoke from the bush!” Larry hollered again, “And it was BLUE!”
Blue – the bush was the color blue. Thank you cinematic masterpiece The Prince of Egypt.
Larry’s response was one of pure innocence. It continues to remind me – even today – that our faith germinates from a place of innocence. A product of having faith – I hope! – is developing a deeper faith. And we all start somewhere.
And that somewhere is important. And that somewhere is worthy.
And that somewhere is holy.
That children’s moment was not the place for me to teach Larry the deeper, more profound, theological impact of God’s presence in the burning bush. That children’s moment was the place that Larry taught me about pausing to embrace the wonder of God and to notice how God surprises us.
And the surprise that day – God made the bush blue.
How has God surprised you recently? How did you appreciate that moment? How will you be on the lookout for God’s surprises in the future?
Prayer: “If our love were but more simple, we should rest upon God’s word; and our lives would be illumined by the presence of our Lord.”* Amen.
*”There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” The United Methodist Hymnal 121.