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Thursday, 27 June 2019 07:36

Keep the Fire Burning 2: Moses and the Fiery Tree

 2019.34.Keep the Fire Burning 2 Moses.main blog image

  1. Keep the fire burning 2 - Moses – A fiery Tree

Two years ago, Kathryn and I (Mel) attended a weeklong retreat experience with 10 other young people aimed at exploring and deepening in the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was led by Jim Murphy. One night, we experienced a powerful time of prayer, where we traced the experience of those that had been touched by fire throughout the scriptures, with fire being understood as an experience of the presence of God.

We pondered the stories of Abraham, Moses, the wandering Israelites, Isaiah, Elijah, Nehemiah, and the disciples at Pentecost. Profoundly struck by the idea of considering these fiery experiences as a way to deepen my own encounter with the power of the Holy Spirit, I took each one in turn, reflecting on what the message might be for me.

In this time after Pentecost, I share the fruit of these reflections with you – the poems I wrote at the time, and the ways I now think they may encourage, challenge and strengthen me – and perhaps you as well.

This time, we turn to Moses who encountered God in the famous burning bush. My poem is in many ways a retelling of the story…

A burning bush on fire blazing,
A striking sight, I can’t stop gazing,
I stop and pause, my eyes transfixed,
A moment I want not to miss
 
A burning bush I saw that day,
On fire, yet not withered away
Then a voice, loud and clear,
‘Take off your sandals, don’t come near’.
 
A burning bush on fire blazing,
A striking sight, I can’t stop gazing,
The voice of God the only sound,
‘The place you stand is holy ground’.
 
A burning bush so close to me,
God manifested in a tree,
I am the God of Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, the great I AM.
 
A burning bush reveals to me,
God’s loving mission to set free,
His people who are sad, enslaved,
Going hungry to their graves.
 
A burning bush, could it be so,
That it reveals his plan to go,
To all people to share his name,
Empowered by this dynamic flame.
 
A burning bush, I can’t deny,
God manifested from on high,
He tells me that he’ll give me signs,
To show his people love divine.
 
A burning bush, come what may,
I now go forth without delay,
To take a step with that fiery tree
Dwelling deep inside of me.
 
A burning bush, now in my heart,
Ever lit, it won’t depart
I realise now, it’s quite profound,
Each step I take is on holy ground.

It is worth pondering what steps the Lord may be inviting us to take with a fiery tree – the presence of the Holy Spirit - inside of us. Who are the people that he calls us to reach out to so that they too may see a burning bush? Where might we take the light of his love? How have we been transformed by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit?

Mel Edwards