The Burning Bush

As a bit of background recall that, in 2016, the Committee on Education of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Oklahoma developed thirty-five Lessons on Capitular Masonry, in an effort to foster more opportunities for educational presentations during Chapter meetings. Each of these thirty-five lessons outlines a self-contained educational presentation. The material for these lessons is drawn from two readily available sources:

THE COURSE — The Capitular Masonry Education Course, which was published in 2014 by the Grand Chapter R.A.M. of Oklahoma.

THE RITUAL — The Ritual of the Grand Chapter R.A.M. of Oklahoma, as adopted in 1932, with subsequent amendments.

Every other month we will suggest one of these lessons that a High Priest may use, if he so desires, as an educational presentation in his Chapter meeting.

This month’s suggested lesson for Chapter meetings is “Royal Arch Lesson #5,” which is found on p. 27 of the Lessons on Capitular Masonry.

Outline of the Lesson:

(i) Read the excerpt of the Royal Arch ritual regarding “Moses at the Burning Bush” found on p. 100 of THE RITUAL.

(ii) Notice that the verses Exodus 3:1-6 found in THE BIBLE are sources for the excerpt from THE RITUAL read in part (i).

(iii) Read the sections on “The Story of Moses” and “Removing the Shoes” found on pp. 105-108 of THE COURSE.

Discussion Questions:

(i) Answer question 10 on p. 147 of THE COURSE.

(ii) Moses observed that “the bush burnt with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” He then asked: “Why the bush is not burnt?” Fire is quite often thought to be a symbol of the Deity. Discuss this symbolism in relation to Moses’ encounter at the Burning Bush and explain why the bush is not burnt.

(iii) Moses is told: “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” The practice of removing the shoes before entering upon holy ground is still common in many religious and esoteric traditions today. In Masonry, it is known as the Rite of Discalceation. Discuss the symbolism of this practice and how it differs among the various degrees of the Lodge and Chapter.

These questions are only meant to begin the discussion and to hopefully spark further discussion and interest in the chosen topic.