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Archive for December 18th, 2012

O Adonai:

“O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.”

Oh, come, oh, come, our Lord of might, 
Who to Your tribes on Sinai’s height 
In ancient times gave holy law, 
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Isaiah had prophesied, “But He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.” (11:4-5); and “Indeed the Lord will be there with us, majestic; yes the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us.” (33:22).

Reflection by Rev. Professor Johann Gerhard, Postilla: An Explanation of the Sunday and Most Important Festival Gospels of the Whole Year, Volume 1, Sermons for the Church Year from Advent through Pentecost(1613):

We read in Exo. 3:2-3, as Moses was being sent to rescue the Israelite nation from her slavery, that the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a fiery flame from a bush, and Moses saw that the bush burned with fire and yet was not consumed.

This Angel of the Lord was the Son of God, inasmuch as He immediately is called the Lord, and Paul testifies concerning Him in 1 Cor. 10:4 that He was the leader of the Israelite nation. Thus the very same Son of God appeared to Moses through the external sign of a fiery flame which burned in a thorn bush and yet did not damage it. By this He wanted to indicate that in the fullness of time He was to rescue mankind from spiritual slavery by taking to Himself a human nature, fill it with the light of His divine nature and with the fullness of the Godhead, which nevertheless would not be hurt by such a heavenly fire.

For this fire, which enlightens and inspires, is a sign of the divine nature, just as Deu. 4:24 states: For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, etc. And in 1 Tim. 6:16: The One who lives in a light which no one is able to approach, etc. The bush, which grows from the earth, is a symbol of the human nature, with which God’s Son personally united Himself, through it appears and shines the fire of the divine nature, and as Paul says in Col. 2:9:  for in Him lives the entire fullness of the Godhead bodily (in the flesh);  at the same time, the human nature, the human nature is not hurt by the divine nature.  The human nature of Christ, with all its attributes, remains undisturbed even though all the fullness of the divine nature shines through, and is relfected bythe human nature…Accordingly, just as Moses when he saw the bush was not damaged while it burned with fire, said: I’m going over to his tremendous scene and see why this bush is not burning up, so also we should early desire to observe this tremendous miracle of Christ simultaneously being God and Man, and of Mary simultaneously being mother and virgin.

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