fredag 6. mai 2016

Tongues of "fire"

I grew up with "Blood and Fire". Both in the Sunday-school and junior-soldier meetings we learned about the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s fire. It will stick in my mind for ever and it is easy to find images of blood and fire symbolism in stories both in the Old and New Testament. At major events - the turning points in the history of salvation, God often spoke through fire. Therefore the fire has a natural place in the Pentecost-narrative:
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
Acts 2:3
The link between the fire and the Holy Spirit is distinct. But can we be 100% certain that the fire is limited to be a sign of the Holy Spirit?
John the Baptist never said that Jesus should baptize with "The Holy Spirit’s fire" - on the contrary he said:
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Matt 3:11b
Can the word "and" be an indication that fire is a "supplement" to the Holy Spirit?
If so - what is it?

Frequently there is link between fire and angels in the Bible. The "Hebreew-preacher"(1) gives us one example:
“He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.”
Hebr 1:7
When Peter tried to defend Jesus in Gethsemane, Jesus said:
Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
Matt 26:53
Can it be true that the resources that the 'man Jesus' could pray the Father to send also are at our disposal?

The angels are our fellow servants (cf. Rev 19:10) and the fire at Pentecost may be a signal to the 120 people gather from the angelic host telling that "we are together with you in your mission"
It is important that angels are seen as fellow servants – and not as objects worthy of worship, but I like the idea that Pentecost releases all of God’s forces. We need all the support we can get in the mission.

'Manna' for today: 
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire! (2)
(1) Hebrews is much more a sermon then a letter, and since the author is anonymous, I prefer to refer to him/her as the "Hebrew preacher".
(2)  Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood-bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

William Booth 1894
This reflection is part of 'Who acts throug Acts?'

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