I’m delighted to tell you one of my grandsons is performing in Oliver! next spring at our local theatre. It’s with an amateur group, but I’ve been to their stuff, and it’s high class. He’ll have to work hard to get ready for it. We’ll be going to watch of course, and there’s usually an opportunity for a bit of a sing-a-long.
Exodus 24:9-11 tell us about Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu (Aaron’s sons) and the seventy elders of Israel all going up to see God. We get a sense of their awe, with an amazing description of the sapphire-like pavement that God was standing on, and the wonder that they were able to see God and yet live, to eat and drink as normal.
But then God summoned Moses. “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here…” God wanted more than just to be seen, he wanted relationship. The group had all been sprinkled with the blood of the sacrificed bulls, to purify them, but only Moses was summoned to come close. I guess he was the only one ready for that level of relationship.
I think many of us at church behave like an audience. We go up to ‘see’ God, not fellowship with him. We sing-a-long with the songs, without really worshipping. We observe what’s going on at the front, listen to the readings, pay attention to the sermon, stand up and sit down at the right times, without really engaging. Even at home, do we ‘say our prayers’ or have a conversation with our loving Father? Do we ‘read a scripture’ or listen to what our Lord is communicating to us in his word? Are our spirits open and attentive to his loving caress? Are we responsive to his Spirit, sharing intimate moments with him, enjoying his presence with us?
God singled Moses out because he was willing to get where God longed for him to be – up close and personal.
The offer is there. We can be part of the cast – up close to the action of what God is doing, and playing our parts in it. There are no auditions, we just have to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Or we can sit in the audience, enjoy a bit of sing-a-long, and clap at the right times. Our choice really.