Moses was taking care of the flock for his father-in-law Jethro, Midian’s priest. He led his flock out to the edge of the desert, and he came to God’s mountain called Horeb. The Lord’s messenger appeared to him in a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was in flames, but it didn’t burn up. Then Moses said to himself, Let me check out this amazing sight and find out why the bush isn’t burning up.
When the Lord saw that he was coming to look, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”
Moses said, “I’m here.”
Then the Lord said, “Don’t come any closer! Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground.” He continued, “I am the God of your father, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.
-Exodus 3:1-15 (Common English Bible)
Didn’t Moses grow up in Egypt? How does he end up in Midian?
Why is Moses afraid to look at God?
What are some other stories where God calls someone to do important work?
Do you ever read a Bible passage and wish you could know more about it?
One of the things I love about the Episcopal Church is that academic study of the Bible doesn’t threaten our faith—in fact, it can be a tool to deepen or strengthen it!
It can be difficult to find reputable sources on the scriptures that shape our tradition. Many websites have shallow or misleading information that doesn’t match our theology or our understanding of God’s expansive, all-encompassing love.
When I was in seminary, I worked on a project called Yale Bible Study. Using videos of Yale professors talking about Bible passages, YBS provides study guides, discussion questions, and other resources. Oh, and it’s all free!
This week, I hope you’ll take a little time to look through Yale Bible Study’s resources. As a starting point: here’s the lesson on the Burning Bush passage from Exodus. (This reading is appointed for today, the Third Sunday in Lent, in our lectionary.
With my colleagues, I put together a lot of the Discussion Questions and Additional Resources sections on this website. I also wrote some of the Study Guides. It was really fun to find these resources, but the process underscored for me just how much incorrect information about the Bible is online.
If you have other reputable resources for online Bible information, please share them with me!
(And remember: I still do work for Yale Bible Study as the host and producer of the Chapter, Verse, and Season podcast, which is another resource for reliable information about the Bible.)