Exodus 3:5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
As we continue into the winter season and put away our summer and fall clothes, I’m reminded of a great experience with Faith Church’s youth. I can recall years ago, the 2013 Confirmation Class visited Our Lady of Sorrow Catholic Church to experience a Mass service. During the sermon, the Father read the scripture in Exodus from the story about Moses and the Burning Bush: “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
Cameron, who tried to find any reason to break the extensive silence in the room, leaned over and asked: “Mom, Why did he (Moses) have to take off his sandals?” Just as I started to shush him, my mind pondered the question. Why DID Moses have to take off his sandals? He’s already on Holy Ground, standing before God. Besides, sandals were so thin back then. The sandals couldn’t cause that much of a separation between the feet and the ground. But God saw it as a separation, nonetheless, and wanted Moses’ sandals removed.
God calls us to have a Direct Connection with Him, but we all wear sandals that keep us from that connection. As I look over my life, I think about the things that separate me from complete holiness. Things that seem so small and so insignificant; things that on the surface don’t seem to be such a big deal. I think about things that no matter how small, still separate me from God, and I need to remove those things from my life. Have I told a lie that I thought wouldn’t hurt anyone? Have I mistreated someone and tried to justify it because of past events? Have I knowingly done things outside of the will of God because “everyone else is doing it”? I have to stop and really consider if I have been so close to a Direct Connection to God, but my “sandals” kept me from it?
I challenge us all to think about the “Sandals” in our lives. I challenge us to boldly stand before God and take off those things separating us from a Direct Connection to His holiness. Like Thomas, we sometimes doubt that connection is possible. But just as Jesus gave Thomas the opportunity to have a direct connection with him (to touch his scars, his hands, his side), God loves us enough to forgive our doubts, our past, our sins… and He gives us a direction connection to His love, grace and mercy.
Will you take off your sandals?
Heavenly Father, I thank you for loving me enough to desire a direct connection with me. Please forgive me for allowing so many things to get in the way of a sincere, meaningful connection with you. God help me to remove those things that separate me from you, so that I may connection with as you have designed for me to. I love you. It’s in Jesus’ name that I pray. Amen.
By: Min April Carter