God in a Thorn Bush

A few thoughts as I’m wrestling with the sermon for this week and thinking specifically about this odd sort of God who, despite the Israelite’s (and our) traditions, refuses to be geographically pinned or penned.

The Holy Presence is in a thorn bush.  Burning but not consumed.  In the middle of the Midian desert where there isn’t much other than rocks and dirt.

Why here?  Because that’s where Moses is?  Perhaps.

Or maybe here, in the desert, in a thorn bush as a poetic way of showing God’s people that God is in all things, in every place, no matter how seemingly insignificant.
Perhaps God reveals God’s self in this bush to show Moses that God is present even in exile.
Perhaps the bush is burning but not consumed because even in exile, when the world as we know it is burning down around us, God’s presence is not consumed.

Then the Lord said, “I have seen the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”
(Exodus 3. 7-8)

I’m reposting this poem from the blog of a poet-theologian that I’ve come to envy, Steve Garnaas-Holmes :

Today, in the wilderness you wander,

         in the slave quarters you inhabit,

         in each task and every moment,

you are accompanied,

         not merely observed from afar,

by One who sees you,

and hears your silent cries,

who sees what oppresses you,

         sees through the illusions that confine you,

who knows your suffering,

         who shares your experience,

         who lives in your flesh,

who comes to set you free

         to bring you out of what diminishes your life,

         out of your old self,

into a broad and fertile place,

         a new life.

All this, today.

         And again tomorrow.

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