Mountain Fire

Mountain Fire, a Japanese pieris, is now a fairly common garden shrub. It is known for, and well named after, its dazzling red leaves. It is less celebrated for its equally pretty clusters of white flowers, which usually appear before the bright red tips of new growth. In Exodus 19:18 we read:

And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

The fire and smoke were noted, which must have made the scene most dreadful to behold. Yet that mountain was also rendered beautiful by that dreadful God’s immense holiness and moral purity. It was the place of law-giving, of bestowing the holiness code by which Israel would show a heathen world the beauty of godliness. Many look for God's power and might, while discounting His pefect morality. 

You are all fair, my love,
And there is no spot in you. (Song of Solomon 4:7)