Questions for Reflection and Discussion (Exodus 3:1-12)

Moses sees the burning bush painting

“What is that flaming, flourishing thicket trying to communicate, and what should I be doing about it??”

Still thinking about the Uniform Series text for Sunday, July 2 – Exodus 3:1-12 – some questions for reflection and discussion:

Assuming Moses is on an unusually long trip with the flock (typical shepherd trips are evidently on the order of 20-25 miles these days – according to material on Navajo and Bedouins): what difference might it make that the invitation from YHWH comes at this time in Moses’ life?
Would his “work situation” make it more or less attractive?
More or less daunting?
Would Moses have an easier or a harder choice to make?
When are we more or less likely to respond to an invitation to do something new and different: when we are deeply involved in whatever else we’re doing, when we’re not doing anything in particular, some other time?

If the bush represents “the people of God,” what does it reveal about the people of God? That is, what characteristics or qualities of the bush are also characteristics or qualities of the people of God?
Do we see those as promising, or as problems? Why?
What are the characteristics or qualities of the bush that make it suitable for this mission of attracting Moses’ attention and communicating a message from God?
How are those present (or absent) in the people of God – generally? In our local congregation?

Is there anything else we need to say about the “mission” of the bush? What?

The effort to attract Moses’ attention and get him to attend to the message takes up a large part of this story – why, do you think?
How serious is the problem of getting people’s attention? Why?
Is “getting someone’s attention” a problem today?
For us – how easy or difficult is it for someone to get our attention?
For God to get our attention?
For us to get others’ attention?
What seem to be the biggest obstacles to giving attention? (Which of these seem to be shared with Moses?)
Have we had any experiences where God seemed to be trying to get our attention? What happened? What does this teach us about how to get people’s attention?

God spends a lot of time describing the plight of the children of Israel, and pointing out that God is paying attention to it. Why does this matter?
What does it tell us about God?
What seems to be Moses’ response?
Is Moses’ response similar to, or different from, God’s?
Why, do we think?
Thinking about similar situations going on in our own world – do we see our own responses as being more like God’s, or more like Moses’?
Why, do you suppose?
(Do we ever feel called to respond differently? When? Why? What do we usually do about that?)


About HAT

Heather Thiessen (HAT) is a happily married 60-ish, Bible-reading, Presbyterian Church Sunday School teaching and choir singing, small fuel efficient car driving, still pretty much 2nd wave feminist and generally out lesbian Hoosier mom. (There are no monochrome states.) From time to time she teaches religious studies to students at a small liberal arts college in Louisville, Kentucky.
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