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Happy New Year!  We are only eight days into 2023, but we hope your year is off to a good start.  We continue our sermon series, Seeking Holy Ground in 2023.  Even though we are only a few days into 2023, you may have already experienced serious challenges to keeping your New Year resolutions.  Or you may have been reluctant to even make New Year resolutions!  The sermon this week is Confronting Reluctance.  It seems that we are all impacted by the power of reluctance.  Reluctance can be just a sense of caution, which is good, because it keeps us from doing bad things.  However, reluctance can also keep us from experiencing the good things that life has to offer.  More and more people are reluctant to make commitments because they fearful or they just do not want to be bothered.  The danger of reluctance is that we may miss the deeper meaning and purpose of our lives.  This week we return to Moses and the burning bush in Exodus 3:11-18. Moses begins with questioning God’s choice and he raises numerous objections to doing what God wants him to do.  All of us are at times like Moses!  We may hear the voice of God, or we may see a compelling sign of God’s power but we resist to follow, even though we sense the power of holy ground.  God’s confronts Moses’s reluctance to follow, but this passage also speaks to every person, believer or nonbeliever! It is our joyful prayer that you sense the power of God at work in your heart and life as you read Exodus 3:11-18:  

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers– the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob– has sent me to you. ‘”This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. 16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers– the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob– appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites– a land flowing with milk and honey.’ 18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.’ (NIV)