This is the story of the burning bush – the strange fire that distracted Moses from the task at hand so that God could reveal to him the holy ground on which he stood. The larger context of this encounter is Israel’s enslavement to Egypt. God had heard the pitiful cry of his chosen and was responding by way of Moses who would be God’s instrument of liberation, leading Israel out of slavery, toward a land of promise.
The ground we are standing on is holy as well. You may be saying, “How could that be? I see no burning bushes. I’m not drawn away from my responsibilities. I don’t hear any commissioning words from the great I Am.” Was it the heat or the light radiating from the fire that made that ancient ground holy? I don’t think it was either. I believe the agent of cause was simply God’s presence. For us, too, it is God’s presence making the ordinary ground we are standing on holy.
A strong case can be made that the circumstances of our lives, the seemingly ordinary ground we are walking on is even now holy, bursting with potential, because God is present. You might be saying, “I would still prefer a burning bush, some external stimulus to inspire and direct me. Then, I would rise above the ordinary. Then, I would have purpose.”
Since the birth of the Church, we Gentiles are being invited into the kingdom of God through a new and better covenant than the one ancient Israel knew. We are living by faith in God’s administration of grace. In this season, authentic born again saints have the Holy Spirit in them as an internal stimulus, enabling them to embrace a new exodus and a new kingdom.
Isn’t the context really the same between this Old Testament story and ours? Isn’t God still listening to His chosen ones who are crying out, along with creation, for wholesale liberation? I have a dream of seeing the Church embrace the holy ground she is walking on, where we discover that, in Christ, our circumstances, however messy, are always the optimum condition for our growth. Here, in our ordinary circumstances we can grow progressively free and become extra-ordinary agents of deliverance, just as Moses was.
Father, as we live and move and have our being in you, we celebrate the ordinary aspects of our lives. Give us eyes to see! Grant us endurance that we might discover our new identities as saints, as brothers and sisters of Jesus, as students of the Holy Spirit, as kings and priests, as your sons and friends. You, O Lord, are our burning bush. Burn brightly in us. Amen.