Monday, April 19, 2010

Fanning the flame Part I

During a great holiday break this year, I enjoyed one of the things that I feel keeps most apartments from feeling like a "home" - a fireplace. I've always enjoyed the warmth, crackle, and glow during the winter months. I sit too close, lay with my feet propped up next to the fire, and basically hoard all the warmth that I can get (I'm sure my family appreciates it). I love the smell of the smoke from fireplaces in the crisp winter air outside. So...what's with all this talk of winter when the flowers are blooming and the days are getting longer?

Well, while I was home over the holidays, I was enjoying the warmth of the fire one evening and watching TV. I got distracted with what was on and failed to tend the fire. Finally I looked over and noticed that there was no flame and only the glow of coals. Now, the quick solution might have been to throw a few more logs on, light a match and turn the gas on to get the fire started. But that's just not me- I'm my father's son. I grew up crumpling newspapers with Dad to stick under the starter logs and watching him strategically light the paper to get the fire started. So, I took a piece of kindling and a hatchet and began splitting it into pencil-thin pieces and placing them just above the coals. After a bout ten of these strips had been carefully placed, I began lightly blowing onto the coals. After a few moments, the twigs caught fire and burned brightly.

"Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit." John 20:21-22

The disciples were confused and scared. Their faith was hanging by a thread and in need of assistance. Jesus' calm nature and words of assurance fanned the flame of their spirits. We're a few weeks past the excitement of Easter Sunday, how is the flame of your faith doing? How are others? How might we cooperate in being a the breath that ignites afresh the fire?

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