O Adonai

O Lord: December 18

O Adonai, and leader of the house of Israel
Who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

Burning bushes are dangerous.

When I was a news reporter covering wildfires in Southern California, the Santa Ana winds blew flaming palm fronds across the street where I stood. Then burning embers hit my face. I barely managed to escape. Someone with an outstretched arm took me to a hospital for smoke inhalation and eye damage. I still managed to write my story.

I wouldn’t have blamed Moses for stepping past the burning bush. I wonder how many others walked by the burning bush before Moses stopped. The burning bush changed his life forever. The burning bush set his heart on fire and gave him more courage than all of Pharaoh’s armies. He led his people to freedom, and so began a way of experiencing God’s power that still lights us on fire.

Burning bushes are dangerous like that.

--The Rev. James Richardson, CDSP ('00) and member, Board of Trustees

© 2012 Church Divinity School of the Pacific