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. 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.
Fire – that elusive, powerful force is often an image connected to the Holy Spirit of God. As the day of Pentecost is celebrated each year, the color of the day is the first color associated with flames – red. The story told that day is the recounting of the moment when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, the sound of a violent rushing wind filled the room where they were and then what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared to settle on the heads of each of them. (Acts 2:1-3) Fire – the flames, the presence of the Holy Spirit comes in dancing with power, the mark of the flame unmistakable and life is never the same.
Never the same – this is why I love Pentecost and the Holy Spirit! Amazing, life-changing things happen when the Spirit shows up! We’re nudged, we’re moved, we’re sent and life is not the same. But…the truth of the Spirit is that when it shows up – nothing is left untouched. This is why I think so many stay away from the Spirit – if they don’t want to change, they can’t get too close to the fire!
But “staying safe” is not what we’re empowered to do – following Jesus is! And so we have to jump right into the flames, confident our God goes with us. This is the power of Pentecost!
One of my favorite Garth Brooks songs goes like this:
“There’s this love that is burning deep in my soul
Constantly yearning to get out of control
Wanting to fly higher and higher
I can’t abide standing outside the fire.
Standing outside the fire, standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it’s just merely survived
If you’re standing outside the fire”
I love the words, because I believe them to be true. We, as followers of Jesus are meant to stand in the fire of the Spirit and live, really live! IT’s what we’re made for, designed for…so won’t you come join me and stand IN the fire? – Pastor Jane Jebsen