The first reading today raises two questions. The first question is: Why would God appear in a burning bush that stayed green?
The second question is: What did God mean by saying, “The place where you stand is holy ground.”
As far as I know the burning bush is the only earthly thing God chose to represent himself to mankind. Its aptness might consist in its comprising extremes. He is fresh and new and gentle at the same time he is fiercely raging. He is small enough to fit into the hearts of children, while he is expansive enough to hold the universe in his hand.
His presence made the ground around the bush so holy that Moses had to remove his sandals to step close. The Hebrew word for “holy” in the original version of Exodus was qodes, a word meaning set apart, completely different. It is unworldly, so the dirt of this world should not intrude upon it.