Reading: Exodus 24: 15-18
Many years ago my wife and I were in Switzerland. One day we planned to go up into the Alps to see Jungfrau up close and personal. Jungfrau is a rugged and beautiful mountain. So we found the little mountain train and rode up the line. It was a glorious summer day in June. However, when we got to the small town nestled high up in the Alps, the clouds had settled in around Jungfrau. I have a lovely picture of a very thick cloud to show what Jungfrau looked like that day.
In our passage today, Moses is not on vacation but is answering God’s call to ‘come up the mountain’. Aaron and Hur are appointed to settle disputes while Moses and Joshua are gone. The elders are told to wait for Moses to return. A cloud descends on the mountain as Moses heads up. On the seventh day God calls Moses into the cloud. Stepping into the cloud, Moses enters into God’s presence. Moses converses with God for a period of forty days and forty nights. Moses emerges from the cloud filled with knowledge and empowered to lead.
There will be times in our lives when we feel as if God were in a cloud. In the ordinary days of our faith, we can sense that God is near and in those sacred moments can feel as if we were in the palm of God’s hand. But at times we feel as if God were distant or were shrouded in a cloud. In these times, there is a scariness about stepping into the cloud, into the unknown or unseen. But just as God called Moses, He too calls us to trust in Him and to faithfully walk forward in faith, knowing that God will guide our steps. Of course, we know that God is never distant or gone. It is only that at times we feel this way. In those times of doubt and fear and uncertainty, may we step boldly into God’s presence, as Moses did, trusting God to transform and empower us as well.