What do you envision when you think of fire? For me, fire is associated with so many memories. The flicker of countless birthday candles on the cakes of family and friends over the years. The coziness of the fireplace where Grandpa would be sure to keep a fire going every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. But the best memory is of the campfires. I absolutely love camping and one of my favorite parts of camping is building the biggest campfire, while still staying safely within the fire ring of course!
I love making a campfire in the evening to cook dinner over. I love roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. I love sitting around the campfire at night when everything is dark and watching the flames dance around in mesmerizing shapes and brilliant colors. I love the orange glow of the fire as the smoke drifts up to the stars. I love the crackling noise of the logs. I love that campfire smell…the one that buries it’s way into your clothing and your hair so that when it is finally time for bed and you curl up in your sleeping bag, the smell of that wondrous campfire is still with you.
When I was a little girl, my sisters and I would go around the campsite searching for tiny twigs and sticks to use as kindling. My Dad taught us how to arrange the twigs in the perfect teepee shape to allow the flames to fully consume them and spread to the logs. The kindling was just to get the fire started. If the logs didn’t catch, then the campfire would not last but a few minutes. Too many twigs crowded too close together could smother the initial flame. If the sticks we found were damp from rain, they would not catch as easily. If there was too much of a breeze it could blow the flame out before it reached the logs. The kindling had to be just right.
The Holy Spirit kindles a fire within us. God sends His Holy Spirit to fill up our hearts with the perfect teepee shaped kindling of His everlasting love. Then, when the Spirit breathes into us the fire of the love of our God, it will not be extinguished but will spread to all those around us, just like the twigs spread the flame to the logs surrounding them.
+Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy 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 Amen.+
The Holy Spirit kindles a flame within us that cannot be quenched. We may feel at times as though we are soaked through with the rain of worry, doubt, fear, and sorrow. We may feel that the winds of the storms we face are too strong for the fire to last. It may seem like there is nothing left within us to kindle that flame. But oh there is! The fire of the love of God is the flame that will never fade. “For indeed our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:29.)
Let us pray that the Holy Spirit kindles the fire of the love of the Lord within us so that our lives shine brilliantly like the dancing flames of the campfire; mesmerizing those around us so that they are drawn to the love of Christ. Let us pray that through the encounters we have with others, we might leave the love of the Holy Spirit lingering with them like the scent of the campfire.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13