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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by William A. Kolb

Tuesday, January 4

Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.
—Exodus 3:5b

This is God speaking to Moses. Moses is minding his own business, tending his sheep. Suddenly there is a burning bush that is not consumed. Next an angel comes out of the fiery bush. And then God SPEAKS.

Moses must have been flabbergasted. How incredible, these miracles. Believe it or not, Moses was a man who sought nothing more than security for his family and fairness for his fellow Hebrews. And now he finds himself addressed by God, the God of the Hebrews, who intends to use him as a means to ending the oppression of his people.

God says that the ground on which Moses is standing is holy ground. With that, Moses removes his shoes and receives the Word of God.

Whenever we find ourselves on “holy ground" (such as inside a church or temple), we should make some indication of reverence. For Moses, it was removing his shoes. For us it might be silence, or crossing ourselves, or putting a yarmulke on our head. I have a priest/friend who in fact removes her shoes whenever she goes into a worship space.

But has it ever occurred to you that ALL of God’s creation is “holy ground”? In fact, it is. All the earth and all that is in it is God’s doing, God’s creation, and is therefore holy. What then should be our sign of reverence?

There are many signs of reverence that we can carry to all humankind. We can start with an awareness of God in our heart. Then we can move on to an awareness of God’s desire that all people—as with the oppressed Hebrews in this reading—be treated with dignity and respect. As God’s people, we are His emissaries to the world, carrying the message, “may there be peace on earth and good will towards men.”


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace wherever I go. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2007.