Cedar Springs United Methodist Church
140 S. Main St. • Cedar Springs, MI 49319
“1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.” (Acts 2:1-3 NIV)
This past Sunday, Churches in this community, and around the world celebrated Pentecost—the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the twelve Disciples and others who had gathered with them. Pentecost is considered by many to be the birthday of the church. The gift of this celebration, which is the Holy Spirit, is most often represented by a flame because the souls of those gathered were lit “afire” with its power.
I think the use of fire to symbolize the power of the Holy Spirit is very appropriate. Not because it brings light and heat, but instead, because of how it spreads. Let me explain. Picture in your mind a bottle of water and several cups. If I were to pour water from the bottle into each of the cups, each would receive a smaller portion of the whole. Each time that I pour out water, it is not replaced; as each cup receives water, there is less in the original bottle. Think of the water as humanity’s power and strength and resources. If we rely only upon ourselves, the water, like that in the bottle, will eventually run out.
But, that is not how it works with God. Now, instead of water, picture in your mind several candles. If I had just one candle lit, and passed the flame from wick to wick, the first flame is not diminished or reduced as the fire spreads to the next candle. This is how it is with the power and strength and resources of God. As the fire is spread among those who seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, the original flame remains, and the fire becomes stronger.
Just as the Spirit spread among those who gathered almost 2,000 years ago, may it also spread through us today. Let the power of the Holy Spirit, burn like a fire within each of us, so that we know the love and the grace and the wisdom of God, which passes our understanding, and is infinite.