Fire!In the Year of Grace 1654, Monday, the 23rd of November Feast of St. Clement, Pope and Martyr, and others in the Martyrology. Vigil of St. Chrysogonus, Martyr, and others. From about half past ten in the evening until about half past twelve, FIRE!
This is the testament of the great scientist Blaise Pascal, who is studied to this day even among the secular. This was the night, he counts as his conversion. Yes there were skeptics even then, but the promise of Jesus from on High that founded the Church of Jesus Christ was not only for that incredible day we call "Pentecost" it is for today. FIRE!
That is what the Christian faith is about. On that day, that fiftieth day after Jesus ascended into the glory of the Father the windows of heaven opened. In a mighty wind, I think of a hurricane blast, that mysterious, often forgotten member of the Blessed Trinity of God made entry. FIRE! He alone, the one who joins us and makes us spiritually one with Jesus, who gives us the zeal that has changed the most hardened among us into loving and selfless people, was poured out on the Church. Those even yet not armed with spiritual power, found their voices, voices they did not recognize because GOD spoke through them. The Church was born! FIRE!
The Church was BORN! Only living things are born! Yet now we think of “Church” as brick and mortor, wood and pews, stained glass and pipe organ music and oh yes, the congregation. We have sold the world a lie. We have sold ourselves a lie. The Church is not an organization, but an ORGANISM! The Church is FIRE! An assembly of believers that has ceased to burn with the Fire of God, has ceased to BE a church assembly.
We have been very favored in our last fifty years that it would seem that the Holy Spirit has been discovered again. Of course He has always been there but we have again discovered the font of power that makes the followers of Jesus alive in that same Spirit. Someone has said that “the glory of God is a person fully alive!” It is the age of the Spirit but largely, the mainline church has ignored it. So wedded to political-correctness we have embraced “holy incorrect-ness”. Yet rather than a cerebral relationship with God, which seems to do little in the flesh or in the spirit. A believer without the power of the Spirit of God will never know the gifts of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12) or the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5).
In the ancient church in Salisbury England, the Holy Communion began with the prayer inviting Holy Spirit to come to the assembly and fill the assembled followers of Jesus with the Fire of God’s Love. In closing, let me reiterate this prayer an I would encourage it to be said DAILY by the followers of our Lord Jesus…
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
A glorious Pentecost, the birthday of the Church! Alleluia!