It is a rainy morning here on Pentecost Sunday. Rain and fire don’t usually mix too well. In the end, the rain, if it lasts long enough, usually wins.
The Spirit that descended upon the disciples almost 2,000 years ago continues to burn in the hearts of many Christians. When they were touched by and filled with the Holy Spirit, they were forever changed. They were made bold for their faith and became more than they ever imagined they could be. No amount of earthly ‘rain’ could put out this heavenly fire – not threat or abuse or failure or even death could quench their fire.
In 1738 a fire was kindled in the heart of John Wesley. He was awakened to what God was calling out for – a church that loved all people, a faith that sought personal holiness. The fire led him to preach in the streets, mines, and fields, offering the gospel to any who would come. The fire led him to call people back to a personal holiness through the renewal of spiritual disciplines like study, prayer, and fasting. Many came to have a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to find the Holy Spirit burning within them as well. This fire within showed faith as a love of God and neighbor.
Once we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit enters our hearts as well. It can remain a smouldering fire that guides and leads us, helping us to live a Christian life. Or we can fan it into flame and allow it to forever change us. This heavenly fire can meet no match on earth and cannot be defeated. May we too feel Wesley’s burning passion for God and neighbor. May the love of God and neighbor pour forth from within each of us, forever changing all we meet.
Scripture reference: Acts 2: 1-21