A Life on Fire
There’s a song for everything, as you probably know. Whenever I recall near-disastrous events involving candles and children of the church lighting candles at the front of the church the song, “This is a Church on Fire” pops into my head. It’s not so funny when it involves a real fire but the metaphor is a good one for the day of Pentecost. This year, June 9 is Pentecost Sunday. This day in the church year represents an ending as well as a beginning. It’s the end of the “Great fifty days” following Easter and the beginning of the rest of the church year. Pentecost is also a great time to ask ourselves “What is our church ‘on fire’ about?”
Although “tongues of fire” is the most commonly used image at Pentecost, other metaphors for the work of the Holy Spirit are many; the wind blowing wind chimes, the water rolling down the creek bed, the flight of a dove lifting wings to heaven. In the hymn, “On Pentecost They Gather” the fist verse reminds us of the disciples’ experience of the Holy Spirit’s power.
On Pentecost they gathered quite early in the day
A band of Christs disciples to worship sing and pray
A mighty wind came blowing, filled all the swirling air
And tongues of fire a glowing inspired each person there.
Anyone who has ever started a campfire knows that there are three essentials needed. Fuel, heat, and oxygen. So when we consider Pentecost this year, what fuels the fire of the Holy Spirit at our church? And what continues to fan the flames of our church’s ministry? Compassion, love, hospitality, a desire for justice…to name just a few.
This Pentecost as we gather to worship, let us praise the Holy Spirit in our midst. Take time to consider, what it is that is stirring within you? What is your passion for ministry? What sets you ablaze or a least warms your hearts? As you ask and seek to answer these questions I pray that the Holy Spirit will come to your life and you feel the heat of God’s flame burning in your life.
Blessings in Christ,