Today we address our awaited Saviour as “Adonai and Leader who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai” as we implore him to “come and save us with outstretched arm.”
When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, Moses was not seeking God – he was just going about his daily business, looking after the flock – it was God who took the initiative and broke into Moses’ life – and not just for Moses’ sake but for the sake of the Israelite people who were held in the bondage of slavery in Egypt: “I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt …I am well aware of their sufferings and I have come down to rescue them and bring them out from the clutches of Egypt to a country rich and broad.” (cf Ex 3: 7-8)
It is this same God who takes the initiative with Mary and Joseph – He announces to Joseph in a dream that the child whom Mary is carrying is the Saviour and is to be called ‘Jesus’ because he will save his people from their sins”   He is “Emmanuel” God-with-us – our Saviour whom we await and to whom we cry out in the words of the Roman Missal, pleading with Him to come and deliver us from the bondage of our sin: “Grant, we pray, Almighty God that we who are weighed down from of old by slavery beneath the yoke of sin  may be set free by the newness of the long-awaited birth of your only begotten Son.”

We have only to look into our own hearts and in the world around us to realise how much we are enslaved by sin and the tendency to sin.  We desperately need freedom but unfortunately we often have false perceptions of what true freedom is. 

 In the first Exodus Moses led the Israelites from slavery to freedom so that they could worship God on Mt Sinai.  They were forged into a people in the desert and given a law by which to live.    Jesus our Saviour is the new Moses who leads us from the bondage of sin to the freedom of the children of God; makes us a royal priesthood – united with our High Priest through, with and in Whom we can offer the true worship in spirit and truth.  He does not set us free from afar – He is God-with-us – for Christ is not just a way to follow – “He is the very path we tread through the wilderness, the spiritual spring that quenches our thirst and the bread that nourishes us in his body” (cf Jean Corbon- Path to Freedom).   Like the Israelites of old we too are forged into a new People of God in the Body of the Risen Christ.  He is the path that leads us out of our isolation and self absorption into communion with our sisters and brothers.  As long as we remain locked in our own self-sufficiency we continue being slaves – we only become free to the extent that we open up in communion with others.  “The spontaneity of love is our true autonomy.” (Jean Corbon)

O Adonai and Leader of the house of Israel who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai, come and save us with your outstretched arm.

See also posts for 18th December 2011, 2010