In the story about Moses and the burning bush, once God has Moses’s attention, God tells Moses to take off his shoes, “because the ground on which you are standing is holy.”
What makes it holy? Asks our pastor. We already know the answer: because God is there.
But then, in that case, what ground isn’t holy?
… Earth’s crammed with heaven,Elizabeth Barrett Browning from Aurora Leigh
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware …
We can learn that “seeing.” Some people are good at it. They’ll teach us, if we let them.
And, too, we might need reminders to keep our eyes open.
Our pastor shares a quote, a little prayer really, she received many years ago as part of a ministry program in Appalachia:
Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, another religion, is to take off our shoes, for the place we are approaching is holy. Else we may find ourselves treading on people’s dreams. More seriously still, we may forget that God was here before our arrival.Max Warren
That burning bush was just a device of God’s to get Moses’s attention.
Kind of like church.
And what I say to you, I say to all: Keep awake.Mark 13:37