Then Moses said, “Show me your glory.” (Exodus 33:18)
Moses had been leading the Israelites across the desert toward the Promised Land for decades. He was tired. He was tired of the incessant complaining of the people. He was tired of the loneliness of leading. He was tired of not being unsure of himself. God calms Moses' concern and assures him that God will go with Moses every step of the way. But like all of us when we get tired, Moses was doubtful. “But what if you don’t go with us?”
Moses needed something to calm his fears and give him courage. Perhaps he wanted that to be a sudden bolt of energy giving him reassurance in his own ability. Maybe he wanted a physical sign from God beyond the pillars of cloud and fire he had gotten used to seeing. But instead, he asked for something different, something no other person had ever experienced until this moment. He said, “Show me your glory.”
I don’t want to preempt Pastor Jevon’s sermon Sunday. You’ll have to attend or watch in order to learn what this glory meant. For now, let’s understand there was something about God’s presence that Moses knew he needed. God’s glory wouldn’t put an end to the complaining or the loneliness, but it would diminish Moses’ fear and inadequacy.
So, as you enter Advent how are you feeling? Are realities in our world defeating you? It's hard not to be with another mass shooting in Colorado last week. Are you tired from the demands and responsibilities of life? Are you excited about the season ahead but just a little anxious and fretful about making everything come together?
For reasons good and bad we can get worn out, and if we could ask God for anything, we’d probably request something we believe is the physical remedy to our challenge. But the change most needed is usually within us not around us. I invite you, as you go through Advent, to make Moses’ request your own. “Show me your glory, God.” Let’s learn what that means, and how we might experience greater glory.