"Sanctify this new fire," prays the pastor in the Great Vigil of Easter. Then he lights the large Paschal candle from a newly kindled fire. Flames of fire play an important part in Christian worship: fire dancing merrily on Christmas candies; a motionless flame on the baptismal candle; serene lights on altar candles; the glow of the candle burning in the sanctuary light hanging in the sanctuary. "No other people have even heard God speak from a fire and still lived" (Deuteronomy 4:33, New Century Version). The fire of God shone in the characters of the Bible.
Thomas Willadsen Mary Austin Christopher Keating Dean Feldmeyer Ron Love George Reed Bethany Peerbolte
For January 20, 2018:
God Activates by Tom Willadsen — Perhaps God wants us to delight in each other and in the magnitude and depth of divine love. Perhaps the Lord wants to activate our gifts of the Spirit, to use them for the common good.
We are all intimately connected as one body in Jesus. Isaiah celebrates our intimate union with our creator, describing us as the joyful bride of God. Though there had been alienation and rejection from both sides in the past, the prophet describes us as God’s delight. That connection is also emphasized in Paul’s oddly graphic description of church folks as body parts — we need each other because we are not a living, breathing body if we are somehow separated.
When Jesus visited a wedding at Cana in Galilee, he showed that human disappointments matter to him and that he would be prepared to redeem them. This is a story about a young girl's bitter disappointment when she became a bridesmaid.