God reveals himself to Moses in a mysterious flaming bush that is untouched.
Today is the seventh day in our set of meditations inspired by Jesse Tree Advent Tradition.
The concept comes from a passage in Isaiah, where the prophet says, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (11:1). Jesse is the father of King David, and Jesus was born into that same line of David through his foster-father’s (Joseph’s) ancestry.
Preparing for Christmas? Consider making a Jesse tree
Each day of December we will offer a brief Scripture passage and reflection, following God’s marvelous plan of salvation in the Jesse Tree tradition.
There the angel of the Lord appeared to him as fire flaming out of a bush. When he looked, although the bush was on fire, it was not being consumed. So Moses decided, “I must turn aside to look at this remarkable sight. Why does the bush not burn up?” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to look, God called out to him from the bush: Moses! Moses! He answered, “Here I am.” God said: Do not come near! Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father, he continued, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.(Exodus 3:2-6)
It is not from some luminary set among the stars that it sheds its radiance, which might then be thought to have a material origin, but from a bush on the earth, although it outshines the stars of heaven.This also symbolizes the mystery of the Virgin, from whom came the divine light that shone upon the world without damaging the bush from which it emanated or allowing the virgin shoot to wither.(Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses)You showed Moses, O Christ God, an image of your most pure Mother inthe bush that burned yet was not consumed, for she herself was not consumed, when she received in her womb the fire of divinity! She remained incorrupt after her pure childbearing! By her prayers, O greatly merciful One, deliver us from the flame of passions, and preserve your people from all harm! (Kontakion for the feast of the icon of the “Theotokos the Unburnt Bush”)
PrayerO God, who have shown forth your salvation
to all the ends of the earth,
grant, we pray,
that we may look forward in joy
to the glorious Nativity of Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
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