Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ 4When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 5Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ 6He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Last month I wrote about the importance of rest for our health and wellbeing, this month I want to suggest that if we are not taking care of ourselves and getting the rest and recuperation we need, we may miss the places that could be holy ground. This week I was able to get to a service of Compline in York Minster and for me there was a sense of the holy as the lighting, words, actions and music fused together in a mix of ancient and contemporary. Some of those I was with didn’t ‘get it’, some sort of ‘got it’ and some thought it was awesome. I led evening prayer this evening and two strangers walked in halfway through and I think they seemed to ‘get’ the feeling of holy ground. I was also able to attend a group that runs in Lent and Advent and in some ways that too was holy ground as we shared with each other what God had done in our lives.
On Sunday morning in the main morning service, during the Eucharistic prayer, God was very present and also during the administration of the bread and wine, but even more so in the conversations, that may have been missed had I not been trying to be aware of where God was and with whom I needed to speak.
I am sure I miss more holy ground moments than I experience, however I think the more I learn to rest in His presence, the more I will begin to notice where he is working. Moses, in responding to God calling him out of the bush said ‘Here I am’ and that was the start of the rest of his journey. It might not have finished where he first thought it might have done, but after excuses, God used him in many different ways, to lead the people of Israel almost to the promised land. When are we going to start resting in His presence and becoming more aware of what is going on around us, the conversations, the look that says I need help, or a hug, or simply someone to stand next to? When are we going to start seeing God in situations in our everyday lives and becoming aware that the place we stand is holy ground. The words below are from a song I first heard about 20 years ago. The words to the verses are by Christopher Beatty and chorus is by Geron Davis
This is Holy ground,
we’re standing on Holy ground
For the Lord is here and where he is, is Holy x2
These are holy hands
we’re lifting up holy hands;
For the Lord is here and where he is, is Holy
We are standing on Holy ground.
And I know that these are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
We are standing in Your presence,
on Holy ground. (2)