August 14, 2022
Fire is frightening; it can burn up a city. Controlled it is warming: in control in a grate; and it also warms the heart, when we sit back, watch the flames and chat, think or pray.
Jesus came to bring fire on the earth. His is the warmth of love and companionship: when we know we can go to him just as we are, and enjoy the intimacy of his friendship – the friend who is always offering the gift of his heart to each of us.
The warmth of Jesus brings comfort and hope to the world when we live in isolation from each other, lack of friendship and hope. When we lack the reconciliation and justice that makes life possible among us, then the warmth of God’s love for all can inflame our coldness.
There is also the fire that disturbs; love challenges as well as comforts.
The flame of God can be frightening in that it demands a world of justice, peace and reconciliation. The fire of this love is the fire that also warms and comforts.
The flame of God is the Holy Spirit. Jesus comes to bring all sorts of fire to the world, and to send the Spirit of comfort, justice, reconciliation and hope. The message of Jesus may divide us, and if it does, the love of Jesus can unite us, for love is the most powerful gift of Jesus.
A saying has it — he has come to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.
Holy Spirit, flame of God, hover over each of us
as you did for the followers of Jesus
at the first Pentecost.