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The Burning Bush

Exodus 3.1-17
The poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote these words about the burning bush,
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
and every common bush afire with God;
but only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
the rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
What did Moses see in the desert? Was it actually a bush, set on fire by lightning or by the sun's intense heat, and yet not being consumed by the flames? Or was it something which other less discerning people would have passed, scarcely noticing anything unusual?
I’m reminded of a walk through  the Alps with Helen and our teenage children. It was  a very hot day. As the  sun beat down on us our elder son asked, ‘Why are  you making us trek through this barren wilderness?’ regardless of the fact that we were in an Alpine meadow and surrounded by millions of flowers. Much later he returned to the Alps with his own wife and waxed lyrical about exactly the same kind of scenery.
Earth is indeed crammed with heaven and every bush and meadow afire with God. But it’s all in the eye of the beholder! Only those who see can recognise that they stand on holy ground and take off their shoes. The rest continue on their way unaware of what they’re missing.
Setting aside the possibility that his perception was simply deranged, which seems unlikely given his subsequent career, Moses must have had an acute awareness of God’s presence. How aware are we?
Is the God whose name is 'I Am’ waiting to encounter us, not in some spectacular way but in the people we meet and the places we go? And does he have a challenge for each one of us? 'I am sending you,’ God said to Moses. What would he send us to do if we could only recognise his call?


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