Weekly Update: “Light the Fire”
Hello there, dear friends! I hope and pray that you’re doing well, as we continue to enjoy Spring and all it has to offer. This week has brought us rain and sunshine, wind and calm. I am so grateful for the reality (hopefully!) that winter is out the door, and the green grass and flowers are here to stay (at least for a couple months)!
This Sunday is Pentecost–one of my favorite Sundays to celebrate in the Church year. It’s the birthday of the Church, the day when the Holy Spirit rained down on the disciples and empowered them to speak to the heads and hearts of all those in Jerusalem who were ready and willing to hear the message of the risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Whenever I think of that scene, my heart skips a beat–how the disciples were gathered in the Upper Room, waiting, waiting, waiting, and praying. How the Holy Spirit swept in like a mighty wind and a rushing flame, burning over the heads of the disciples like tongues of fire. How in that moment, the disciples were gifted with the amazing and crazy-awesome ability to speak languages they had not been able to speak moments before–in order to shout out the Good News of God to all those gathered in Jerusalem. How the disciples were filled with power and strength and praise and courage to go out and preach, to speak about God’s love, to tell the world about what Christ has done for them. Wow!
It reminds me of the campfires that we used to have in my Bible Camp when I was a child. As the evening sky turned to black, and the stars shone bright overhead, us campers would don jeans, sweatshirts, and large amounts of bug-spray and head to the Camp fire circle. Once there, we sat on fallen logs, rough-hewn benches, over-turned buckets, and a few Adirondack chairs. The fire was stoked, and we watched as the flames twisted and twirled their way up into the night sky. The flames crackled and crisped as they consumed the dry wood. The sweet, earthy smell of wood fire permeated the air, and our noses. There was always a couple moments of silence, as we took in the serene scene. And then, someone would begin to sing, “Light the fire in my soul. Fame the flame, make me whole. Lord, You know where I’ve been. So light the fire in my heart again, light the fire in my heart again.”
“Light the fire in my soul”. “Yes, Lord,“ I could always feel my heart cry out, as I sang the words softly but passionately with the other campers. “Light that fire… Light the fire like You did with the disciples in the Upper Room. Light that fire like you burned in their hearts as they were sent out for mission. Light the fire that burned as their passion for You. And especially, light the fire, Holy Spirit, that leads me to turn to You. Light that fire…”
The campfire flames have been burning in my heart this week, as I’ve prepared for Pentecost. As I think about the birth of the Church, as I imagine what the disciples were going through, and as I pray for the Spirit’s leading in our own hearts, I have been thinking about that flame–the flame of the Holy Spirit. “‘In the last days’, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy…And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’“ (Acts 2:17-18, 21)
What would it mean if we were people that were as passionate as fire? People who were sent out to “dream dreams” for the Lord? What would it look like for God to ignite that flame in us? That mighty rushing wind at Pentecost–the Holy Spirit–is still here, still moving in our hearts. “Light the fire, Lord. Light the fire.“
Many blessings to you, my friends!