Every month, the Pastor writes an article for the congregation as part of our newsletter entitled The Advance. Below is the article from the August 2015 issue.
“Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; And only he who sees takes off his shoes—The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.“
(Browning, “Aurora Leigh,” Book VII)
My Sermon preparation for the 26th of July yielded this quote and caused me to feel badly for every English teacher that I had spurned in my upbringing for requiring me to read and understand poetry.
I suspect my first inclination has always been to look around “my” world and see what I can use and exploit for my own comfort and purposes. Now, thanks to Browning, I ask myself, “What if Moses ignored the burning bush because he determined it offered no benefit for himself? What if God’s presence is so widespread that it is perceivable through every sense that we have?
If that were true, then the only reason people say that there are no miracles or that God has abandoned us, is because we are simply not noticing what is there! Browning is suggesting that every bush is burning! Everything, every person, houses a miracle! We just need to see it.
If this is true then there is nothing that is tired and old. Nothing is mundane and dreary. We are the only ones that are those things, if we don’t take notice. So take time to take off your shoes. You are on holy ground.