Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Exodus 3:1-15

Pentecost +16 – Year A

Exodus 3:1-15

Pharaoh's daughter was surprised in the midst of her daily ritual to find a baby floating toward her. Moses was surprised in the midst of his daily ritual to find an unconsumed burning bush before him.

In the midst of daily rituals holiness holiness can still be experienced. The division between sacred and secular, holy and profane, or any other duality we might mention fades in the face of a mystery beyond all the differences we so glibly pronounce. This holiness leads us in strange directions. Pharaoh's daughter adopts a male Israelite her father has condemned to death before the little guy was born. Moses returns to face down the ruler who had condemned him and a whole people, to bring those people out of slavery, to be "somebody"s.

In the midst of daily rituals we ourselves have been called to do what is right even in the face of power to the contrary. We, too, have wondered whether we could do what needs doing. We, too, have sometimes needed a sense of authority larger than ourselves (although, note that Pharaoh's daughter didn't have the same recorded reservation that Moses did).

Sensing that most of us are more in the situation of Moses, unprivileged, or even less than that, we do look for a talisman to carry with us into the difficulties ahead. What we know about such is that if it is too specific it won't hold up in changing circumstances and if it is too general it will float away before gaining traction. And so we hear the specifics of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the much broader I-AM-WHO-I-AM (in all its various tenses). Moses holds together these two gifts, the specific and the general.

May you hold your contradictory gifts together that you might further the models Pharaoh's daughter and Moses offer you of doing the right thing to honor life – the life of a condemned child and the lives of enslaved relatives. Those same gifts are needed in today's world. Of particular need is a move toward an integral worldview, where our current world-centric pluralism and relativism (seemingly too accepting and unwilling to stand against wrong) are transcended and included into a critically evaluated, more systematic, whole [collected from written background material of bodymindspiritworks and Integral Life].

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