Advanced search Click here for the website of the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

Skip Content

3 December 2017


Sunday 3rd December – Advent Sunday - Exodus 33: 7 - 17

Moses: God with us in Leadership


Do you have a friend with whom you can speak completely openly and honestly? I hope you do, particularly if you are in a position of leadership. In bygone days, kings would employ a jester or ‘fool’ who wouldn’t pull any punches when telling it like it was.  But a jester isn’t a friend, or an adviser. We all need someone who will be a true and honest friend to us, to journey with us through difficult times and help us face them.

Moses had many struggles and frustrations as he tried to lead his people to the Promised Land. A journey which should have taken about 11 days ended up taking 40 years because the people were so often contentious, wrongheaded, wilful and stubborn. They got lost in their own desires.

Like many leaders, Moses cried out to God for a way to find respect and credibility with his people. 

But Moses was blessed by God’s presence on the journey.  God was not only with them, guiding them in cloud and fire, he met with Moses and talked to him face to face as a friend. And he answered Moses’ prayer with another promise.  “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”  What a wonderful promise for any leader. God with us, and his blessed peace amongst all the anxious responsibilities. And to provide complete reassurance, God repeats his promise. Moses has ‘found favour in God’s sight’ and he ’knows him by name’.

May our names be known to God, so that we can be sure of his favour and his presence with us in all we do.


For further reflection, please read “In Touch with God: Advent meditations on biblical prayers” by Michael & Rosemary Green, pages 9 - 12