No one likes to get a call from the neighbors, “Hey, just wanted to let you know that your palm tree is on fire.” I am so grateful that my neighbors to the West call when we are on fire and that the neighbor to the East is a fire fighter and is home when you need him. So, not unlike Moses, we had our own burning bush experience.
Maybe you know the story:
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Mid’ian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here am I.” Then he said, “Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:1-5
It got me to thinking that although we know the site of the burning bush, at St. Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, there is no need to go there for a holy ground experience. If Gerald Manley Hopkins, the poet-priest, is right and “all creation is a gigantic burning bush” then we are always on holy ground. The Lord can show Himself at any time.
I believe it was St. John Chrysostom who said that every family is a Domestic Church. It is in the Christian home that we live out the faith.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20
Every action, meal, event, and interaction in my home is to be connected with the Body of Christ. My dinning table fellowship is not to be out of communion with the holy table. Our families are to have the same ministry as the parish church; worship, Christian fellowship, charity, education in the faith, growth in virtue, evangelism, hospitality and works of mercy.
What do you think about the “domestic church” idea found in Orthodoxy? In what ways is the whole world a “gigantic burning bush?”