“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire…on each of them.” Acts 2:3
“Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19
When you have a campfire outside (on a canoe trip, for example) it’s a good idea to soak your fire with water when you leave. Fire can creep under the surface and then pop up and start a forest fire if you don’t give it a good drenching. This is precisely what you DON’T want to do with the spiritual life. As Paul puts it, “Do NOT quench the Spirit”. In fact, it would be ideal if the Holy Spirit ‘popped up’ in unexpected places and ways. That’s what happened at Pentecost.
There are many views about what is meant by ‘the Christian life’. The biblical view is a life lived in and by the power of the Holy Spirit. He teaches, directs, corrects and encourages us. He always points us to Jesus. Like fire, he warms us with the love of God, burns off impurities and ignites faith in other people through us. There are many ways to quench the Spirit. Anger, negativity, backbiting and lying will do it. Lack of prayer, ignoring conscience and exacting vengeance will help. There’s a well-known story about a young man who goes to see a wise, older Christian lady to ask why he should bother attending church. They are seated by a crackling fire. Without a word she takes the tongs, removes a stick from the fire and places it on the hearth. At first it glows a bit, but soon grows dark and cold. I leave the meaning to you.
I think it’s important in these confusing times that Christians pray for renewal and revival – a fresh visitation of the Holy Spirit! He will undoubtedly re-focus us and our world on the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As Jesus said, “He will testify about me”. Jn. 15:26 On Pentecost Sunday, May 20th, we will also be remembering Jesus’ atoning death as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper together – AND we will be praying for the pouring out of God’s Spirit. I hope you will join us.
In Christ’s love,