“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:3-4a)
We traditionally celebrate Pentecost on the 8th Sunday after Easter, which this year falls on May 15, and this begins that long stretch before we cycle back around to the start of the Christian year and Advent in November. I read the Biblical account in the Book of the Acts that we associate with Pentecost and imagine what it must have looked like to see tongues of fire over the heads of each of the disciples. Whether literally or metaphorically, it represented fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that they would be clothed with power from on high. It represented the flame of the Holy Spirit within each of them.
Actually, the view from our sanctuary’s pulpit is not much different. While actual burning flames may not be present, I get to see the Holy Spirit burning brightly in everyone chatting before service, in everyone participating in worship, and in everyone departing to start off their week. Such workings of the Spirit serve to bring energy into the ministry and fellowship of those who congregate in the name of Jesus Christ. And, such an embrace of those workings serves to align those congregants’ lives with the will and blessing of the God who loves, and promises ultimate protection and abundance for all who love God back. Such love cannot be quenched. I guess it is not at all surprising that we often describe “love” in terms of fire and burning flame.
I believe this flame of the Spirit burns brightly in our whole congregation. Sure, life’s struggles can sometimes make it difficult to see the flame within ourselves, but that flame of the Holy Spirit is still there, and is very visible to those around us. Know that flame burns within you. Add to your daily prayers, this month, your thanks to Jesus for his promise of the Spirit and for his blessing that makes your flame continue to grow with each passing day.
Blessings upon you, all who you love, and all who love you . . . Pastor Bob