Friday, February 12, 2016

Daily Devotion for Day 3 of Lent 2016

Scripture reading: Exodus 3 (NRSV)

Was Moses spiritual but not religious?

That seems to be a popular stance for many people who claim faith but do not have active involvement in any established expression of it.
Moses Before the Burning Bush
by Domenico Fetti

Moses was of the tribe of Levi which was where the Hebrew people later found their priests. So it is likely that Moses did hear the stories of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.  When Moses encounters God, he must have recognized God when he heard these names mentioned.

Living with the Midianites, Moses might have had the opportunity to worship other gods but not the God of his ancestors.

And so Moses might have been spiritual, believing in God but not religious in that he would have had no people in which to share the practices of faith.  However, when God speaks to Moses, we see that his spirituality is calling him to be religious in the sense that religion is something shared by a community of people.

He is called to be religious in that he is called to responsibility for his people.

As we consider our own faith, it is much easier to love God than to love our neighbors. But maybe when we seek to only love God without any change of behavior toward other people, we are remaking God in our own image.

We'll see what God thinks of idols in subsequent chapters!

God invited Moses to repair the slavery of the Hebrew people.  If you imagine God calling to you as God called to Moses all those years ago, is there some injustice that God is asking you to address?

Whatever it may be, we can imagine that God is also saying to us as God said to Moses, "I will be with you."

When we answer this call, we see that our spirituality also moves us to be religious.

Picture by Domenico Fetti [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons   

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