Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Ordinary {Sacred} Things

I've been reading the Exodus account for longer than I can remember. 

I've been reciting the ten plagues since before I could actually read. Dipping my little pinky finger in wine ten times, touching my Passover plate after each dip. Making little blood-red drops as we recounted each plague together. 

And one of the first songs I ever learned to sing was written by Moses, retelling God's miracles at the Red Sea, chanting with my family Moses' rhetorical lyric, "Who is like you, O Lord?" (Exodus 15:11)

But I saw something this morning that I'd never noticed before. I had to get out my Hebrew bible commentary to make sure the English translation wasn't leading me astray. And it wasn't.

As Moses spoke with God by the glow of the burning bush, he protested that he wasn't equipped to lead a rescue of more than two million slaves from Pharoah's grip. {One of his many, repeated protestations.}

So God asked Moses what he was holding in his hand. This old thing? It's a staff.  That's when God told Moses to throw the staff on the ground, and it became a snake. This was just the first of many signs God graciously shared with this stubborn doubter. {Thomas was in good company, no?}

After several more protests from Moses and signs from God, Moses finally packed up his family and headed for his old Egyptian stomping grounds. 

"And Moses took the rod of God with him." Exodus 4:20

And this is where my daily, bible-in-a-year reading came to a full stop this morning. 

Somewhere between the burning bush and Moses' march toward the pyramids, his ordinary staff became the "rod of God."

And it struck me (no pun intended) that when we offer our ordinary things to God, He turns them into divine instruments in our hands, in our lives. Sacred things to do His work. To rescue the oppressed. To encourage the weary. To reveal truth to doubters. To part waters for the frightened. To bring forth water for the parched. 

And so today, I'm sitting here at my kitchen table, literally holding out my hands to God, and asking Him to take my ordinary things, my ordinary life, and do His work in the lives of others. I'm literally  naming all the things around me - our kitchen chairs, the snoring dogs, coffee in the cabinet, books on the shelves - everything.

And that I would let Him take them. That I would really, finally get it that what's mine is really His, and that I would offer it all - even the ordinary "staffs" that I lean on - back to Him. That I would let God use me, through these ordinary things, to do sacred things.

I don't know what that will look like each day. But neither did Moses. And that's good enough for me.