Exodus 24:17 Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.
My brother Barry, over on his blog, Words From the Middle, preached a nasty good sermon for Transfiguration Sunday called “Let’s Look Different. It was very good and I’d highly recommend you follow the link and listen to it.
The part that struck me was his take on the passage in Exodus where Moses is to go up the mountain to meet with God and get the Ten Commandments. Barry made the fascinating point that the mountain smoked and burned in response to the holiness of God. Not as I’ve often thought of that image as more of a shock and awe pyrotechnic show to strike fear into a demonstrably cantankerous group.
It made me think about my interactions with God. I was struck by the realization that not only is my god too small, in most cases, it is very likely not God at all. I have fallen under the cultural Christianity bus and been run over without even realizing it.
It made me think how rarely, no wait, never, have I experienced such an encounter with God. Which led me to the realization that my god fits easily into digital devices and small slivers of my attention almost certainly because it is one of my own creation. It certainly doesn’t ever make anything smoke under the intensity of its presence.
So as I settle into the season of Lent I’m asking myself a question. What needs to change for me to see the mountains smoke in response to the presence of the holiness of the most high God?