It’s Pentecost – so we’re going to light a fire in the baptismal font.
I’m very glad to see you today.
So I want you to stand right about there….and look straight ahead. What do you see? The altar. The baptismal font. The pretty red paraments. Everything looks great, doesn’t it? We have the baptismal font setup here. We have the altar with almost everything it needs so we can share in communion with each other later in the service. There are red flowers on the floor and there’s red all.over.the.place. What shape/images are on the red paraments? Yellow flames of fire.
We’re surrounded by red which is a color that can represent fire. It represents how bright a fire can get. It represents the color a fire can get. And it represents the heat – the red hot heat a fire gets out. Where do you see fire? Fireplaces. Forest Fires. The altar candles.
We usually imagine fire in all those places – but we don’t usually think about fire in the church. But today…we will. Today, we’ll hear a story that’s full of fire. We hear how Jesus’ friends, after his resurrection, are gathered together just like we are. They’re hanging out together in the city of Jerusalem when, suddenly, a sound like a mighty wind – like the winds we heard this week when that storm came through – shows up. And scripture tells us that these little images of flames seemed to float and land on each of Jesus’ friends heads. Once they landed on their head, they didn’t hurt them. Instead, these little flames of fire helped Jesus’ friends do something amazing. It let them tell about Jesus – about God – and how much Jesus loves them and the world – in such a way that people, from all over the world, heard that story in a language they understood. The little flames of fire helped these friends of Jesus, when they talked about Jesus to people they didn’t know, be understood. And those little flames of fire, that mighty wind, is a description of what the Holy Spirit can do. The Holy Spirit – this part of God that comes to us – inspires us – and fills us up – helps us share Jesus’ story that the people around us – our families, friends, neighbors, and even strangers – can understand just how much Jesus loves them.
But the Holy Spirit doesn’t only show up on a windy day or when a little flame of fire appears over our head. In fact, it’s probably already showed up to you. When do you think the Holy Spirit showed up to you? Accept answers. Those are great – but there’s one place where the Holy Spirit met you – and that’s here – light the baptismal font on fire.
When we were baptized, even if we don’t remember it, we were given a precious gift. We were given Jesus. We were made part of Jesus’ family. And we were given this Holy Spirit – this force, presence, and active part of God that inspires us to be like Jesus, to follow his teaching, and to share Jesus no matter if we’re 3 years old or 93. Our baptism is the fuel that feeds our faith, our relationship with God, and helps us be the kind, caring, loving, and Christian people God wants us to be.
So now look at the scene again. What do you see? Fire. The Holy Spirit. All of us, right now, are filled with the fire of the Spirit. And because you have that Spirit – each of you – and all of you out there – can share Jesus with everyone.
Thank you for being here and I hope you have a blessed week.
Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on Pentecost, 5/20/2018.