There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, ‘I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.’ When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ and Moses said, ‘Here I am.’” -Exodus 3:2-4
A blazing bush that glows in a halo of fire… and yet doesn’t burn up? Now that was a strange sight. As Moses drew closer, perhaps he thought it was a remarkable new kind of foliage unlike the rest of the desert scrub brush. Then, what a shock to hear the voice of God Almighty speak from the bush.
Weeks later, long after the prophet moved on, I wonder what happened to that bush. I don’t think Moses broke off the branches to enshrine them in a little box on an altar. He didn’t uproot the bush to memorialize it. No. As Major Ian Thomas has said, “Any old bush would have done. A scruffy, scraggly looking thing or a beautiful looking bush so shapely and fine. The bush is not important—only that God was in the bush!”*
The burning bush is an Old Testament example of a New Testament truth: Christ in you, the hope of glory. God can set any life ablaze with Spirit-inspired power. A lowly outcast, or an honored aristocrat. An unskilled individual with lackluster gifts, or a talented person who is beautiful and bright. The “you” doesn’t matter. What does matter is Christ in you.
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Let me burn for You, Lord. Let me shine.