Ever sit and watch a fire? The flames dance in and out and we are mesmerized. As the red, gold, orange, and blue colors exchange places, weaving in and out of each other they dance around, seemingly above and around but never settling. The flames shoot high and sparks skip skyward. They settle back and the dance continues. In, out, around – never stopping, seemingly never really touching, yet the mark of the flames is unmistakable as things are charred, consumed and reduced to ashes. The dance can seem to be all but done, yet, with one breath of air, one bit of encouragement, what seems dead, done or gone can be brought back to life – and the dance continues.
On a day long ago, fire came, with the sound of a mighty rushing wind and a new dance began. Not a dance that chars and reduces, rather a dance that consumes and empowers! This dance gave the followers of Jesus what he had promised – power and passion through the Holy Spirit. And filled with this power and passion, they simply could not be silent! Their hearts burned with a fire that could not be quenched. And their lives became sparks which started more fires all over the world. And still burns today!
As I sit in my office on a cold, dreary wet, Monday – having immersed myself in a book recently that outlines what could be seen as that spark beginning to smolder and die, I long for fire and flame. I long for passion to grab hold of me and those around me that we might join the dance and not only keep it going, but start it in new places and with new folks. Yet what I see all around me and in me too often is not fire and flame, but rather a smoky smoldering.
So how do we access that fire and flame? How can we embrace the power and the passion? Is it even possible in today’s world? Do we even want it? Well, over the next few weeks we’re going to be looking at the giver of power and passion, learning more about the Holy Spirit as well as how to be open to the Spirit’s power. If you perhaps, want to do more than just smolder, but instead want to join in the dance going on…then I invite you to join us the next few weeks in worship as we connect ourselves to the stories, the power, that passion of the Spirit. And who knows…maybe you can become a soul on fire for following Jesus out into the world. Dare to take the chance. Dare to join the dance! – Pastor Jane Jebsen