Keeping Advent: December 18

Burning Bush and Stone Tablets

Burning Bush and Stone Tablets

Theme:Jesus is Lord

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.


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We continue to praise Jesus through the O Antiphons today. You might find it strange to encounter God in Exodus here, especially when we’ve read all the way through the Old Testament prophecies and types. But there’s something here about Jesus, and it’s something I only learned a couple of years ago at a Lay Dominican retreat.

Jesus is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. This is something we all know by heart. But Jesus is also called the Word of God. This is why we say that all was created through Him: because God spoke the universe into existence, and His Word made things real. Jesus is that Word.

Likewise, the Word of God came to Moses both through the burning bush as well as on Mount Sinai when the Lord gave him the Ten Commandments. In fact, the Word of God was on the tablets that Moses carried down to the people. Moses was bringing the Word of God to the Israelites. God was coming in a very personal way to the Israelites, and it’s through reading the Old Testament in light of the New Testament that we can really ponder this amazing fact.

And there’s more: the burning bush has long been a type for the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Word of God came from the bush, just as He came from Mary. The bush burned, but was not consumed, just as the Blessed Virgin gave birth, but her virginity was not consumed.

There’s a lot to think about with this Antiphon.

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

Meditation text and images © Christine Johnson

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