Exodus 3: 1-8a, 13-15 1 Corinthians 10: 1-6, 10-12 Luke 13: 1-9
I suspect that at one time or another any one of us might have been envious of the story of Moses and the during bush that we heard today. Basically what is being told to us concerns a mystical experience with God which Moses had. It was a transforming experience which changed Moses for life and which, indeed, transformed the world. The insight given to Moses and to mankind is that God, or God’s name, is “I AM.” It is not “I was” or “I will be.” It is “I AM.” Always and for all times God is and God is with us. It is an insight into the unlimited reality that is God. Any restrictions on our understanding of God are due to our limitations, not God’s.
We may often look for a burning bush in our lives, for some magical answer of some sort. The reality is that the bush was only a sign, a gesture, of something much deeper. It is a sign of God’s continuous presence with us that affects the whole of life. It is the sign of God’s abiding, unchanging, constant presence with us to which we are to respond.
In various ways we can easily think in terms of looking for clear signs of God like a burning bush. Consider the comments Jesus makes to his followers in the Gospel we heard today. To a certain extent they are unusual or strange. They are tragic stories about historical events that happened. But, of themselves, they are not reasons for change as we might often hear. They are not messages of God that call for an instantaneous response that is superficial, transitory and made out of fear, like the response to the fig tree that was not producing fruit. What Jesus is seeking from his followers and from us is a response that is a constant, continuous process of growth and development, a response that involves a continual process of fertilization of mind and heart that brings about a genuine change and conversion.
In order to accomplish such a conversion, a deep and genuine renewal of faith at Easter, two things are needed as we continue the journey through Lent. The first is a firm and unwavering commitment to faith to God, to God’s life, to God’s reality of “I AM” in our lives. God is to be with us in all aspects of our lives. God affects us in all aspects of our living. There is no limitation of God to time or place. We experience the presence of God here in prayer and worship. But this is just a brief moment of the time that makes up a whole week. God is to be present, part of the whole of our life. “I AM” is here and there, wherever “here and there” might happen to be.
The second thing that is necessary is that we need to have, we need to exercise, a constant discipline of this faith. This involves an outlook on a life, a practiced inclination to recognize God’s life as a fundamental part of my own life. I am and I am to be the image of God, the reflection of God. “Godliness” is to be found in each of us, and is to be evident in how we are in every aspect of daily living.
All times, all places, all that is said and done and even thought offer opportunities for a constant effort , a constant fertilization, a constant growth. A constant bearing fruit that is a revelation in each of us of our good and gracious God.