Moses is tending his father-in-law’s flock. They have wandered out of the wilderness and stood on Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai) where an angel of the Lord appeared in a blaze of fire. The bush in which the angel appeared seemed to be burning, but it was not being consumed by the fire. Out of the flames comes the voice of God calling to Moses. God then orders Moses to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground.
So what exactly is holy ground? Is it a real place? A piece of real estate? The sanctuary of a church? No. Holy ground is where we experience God face-to-face. It is a spiritual place where our entire being is engulfed in the glory and majesty of God. In this place, nothing else matters except the nearness of God. This is where Moses found himself that day. Think about it. A flaming bush that is not being burned. A voice calling his name and telling him that he is standing on holy ground. No doubt this was an awe-inspiring, yet frightening experience.
The Lord had revealed himself in a powerful way to an otherwise ordinary person. For Moses, God’s next words would transform him and his destiny completely: “Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:7-12, NRSV)
Moses had now received his call from God. He now understood God’s plan for his life (to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt), but he was frightened and did his best to get out of it. What if they don’t believe what I tell them? I have a speech impediment. They won’t listen to me. Yet with every excuse, God promises Moses to be with him and provide Moses with the tools he needs to accomplish the mission set before him.
What does this have to do with us and holy ground? God calls us, equips us, and stands beside us. Through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we are made holy – blameless in the sight of God. This is what makes us holy. If we are holy, then wherever we stand is holy ground. Like Moses, God calls us by name, and bestows the gifts of the Holy Spirit on us so that we can accomplish the mission set before us -- namely, using our lives to bring him glory and show others the path to the “burning bush” so that they too can stand on holy ground.
In meditating on God’s Word, reflecting on the sacrifice of Christ, and living out our faith in tangible ways we are find ourselves on holy ground – where believers stand.
God of Moses, God of our hearts, grant that we remain in awe of your power to take the ordinary and transform it to the extraordinary. Grant us strength to seize on the opportunities to proclaim our redemption and your love and forgiveness to those around us, so that you who began a good work in them, may bring them to holy ground. Amen
In awe of being blessed to stand on holy ground,
Artwork of Moses removing his sandals used under Creative Commons.