‘Come, Holy Spirit, our souls inspire and kindle with celestial fire…’
Beacons along the coast of the British Isles are being lit to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee.
Hard to believe it was five years ago that we gathered at West Wittering beach at Pentecost to mark the start of the Chichester Diocesan vision for growth – numerical and spiritual – with the lighting of the beacon as we invited the Holy Spirit to inspire our souls and kindle our hearts…
The next day West Wittering Estate called to inform me that the beacon had burnt very well indeed – in fact the basket and pole had caught fire and the whole lot been consumed in the blaze!
Fire needs fuel if it is to burn – you need to feed the fire and fan the flames. It has the power to refine and the power to destroy. Its light can dispel the darkness or bring a dazzling blindness… It is as powerful a symbol as it is a natural element and at Pentecost we speak of the living flames of the Holy Spirit.
Over the last five years we have felt the Holy Spirit at work in the life of our churches. Many have said that they feel its presence – its force – growing and glowing.
We want to be a church family alive to its force and open to its presence. We need to feed the fire and fan the flames. But we must also respect the fact that at times fire cannot be contained – it will burn where it will.
How are we to tend the fire and fan the flames?
Come Holy Spirit.