Pentecost, the Burning Bush, and Hope for Enneagram #4's
Is anyone out there both nostalgic and future goal-oriented, a #4 on the Enneagram like me? Sometimes I focus on the past and future so much, that I miss the present moment.
Here is a beautiful poem that can be a guiding light for us all:
This excerpt is by R.S. Thomas, from his poem, “The Bright Field:”
Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
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June 5 is Pentecost Sunday, the Birthday of the church. This poem speaks about a “transfigured vision.”1 At Pentecost, Holy Spirit fire came to the fearful disciples, and their vision was transformed.
(The story of Pentecost is in the Bible in Acts chapter 2.)
The bush Moses saw was burning but was not consumed by the fire. God revealed his eternal nature and his name to Moses: I AM (Exodus 3). Maybe the burning bush looked a bit like this flower-studded bush I saw today.
This poem helped me take time to “turn aside” and notice the bush (pictured above), and God’s glory and beauty in the present moment. That is what the gift of God’s Holy Spirit does in a powerful way.
The Holy Spirit bestows on us a “brightness,” a light that last into eternity.
This the Holy Spirit given to all who will receive God’s gift of love and forgiveness in Christ. This is the Holy Spirit who puts the fire of eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Rather than consuming us, this burning flame makes us alive.
“Awake O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light (Ephesians 5:14).”
The Holy Spirit was there at the beginning of Creation, hovering over the waters as a bird over her nest (Genesis 1:2). The Holy Spirit came as wind and flame at Pentecost, and also appeared in Scripture in the form of a dove. Christ referred to the Holy Spirit as leaping waters flowing from his heart (John 7:38).
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When the Spirit came, the disciples’ eyes were opened to see God’s handiwork all around. They were empowered by the Spirit to be witnesses of Christ’s death and resurrection, to the ends of the earth until the end of time.
At the end of time, Christ will say, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment (Revelation 21:6).”
Until that time, our thirst is quenched by that same Spirit. The Holy Spirit whispers to us to “turn aside” like Moses at the burning bush.
In those burning flames, God will reveal to us his glorious name, and we will be transformed. Happy Birthday church!
1 Thanks to awesome poet Malcom Guite for this term used in reference to the burning bush, from his The Word in the Wilderness: A Poem a Day for Lent and Easter, p, xi. View Malcolm’s incredible poems at: https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/category/poems/