Sabbath eve isn’t usually the time we like to think intense thoughts. It’s a time to lean on the Lord of the Sabbath and just rest. But as the Feast of Pentecost follows immediately after this Sabbath, let me share a little something intense.
Not long ago I was watching an interview on line with a concert pianist – someone who makes his living playing the most difficult music before huge audiences. As he spoke, he said something that suddenly leaped at me. I stopped and copied it down:
I think this “burning” quality, this compulsion to play – it should be there in every human being, really. In order to live a full life, you have to burn about something … [The concert hall] is a furnace at times, and so it should be, because you’re dealing with things that go to the absolute heart of what it means to live a meaningful life.
Good for him, but what are we burning about? What goes to the heart of our meaningful lives? I suggest that it all has to do with our life in Christ. He is worth burning for, and His Spirit is the One who lights – and maintains – that blaze.
We often hear about being “on fire for Christ.” Really? Do we act that way? Do we look that way? I realize that our actions and looks aren’t the whole story, but believe me, when a concert pianist takes the bench on that stage, he is burning, and all his actions and all his looks demonstrate that fire.
I’ve also been studying the lives of some of the saints who founded this fellowship a century and more ago. There was burning, if you will. “His fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem.” The young people who laid the foundations of what we profess to carry on and value today did so at immense personal cost. They burned with love for Jesus, they burned with love for His Kingdom, and they burned in the fires of adversity.
Whatever the fire, it all equips us to stand on Mt. Zion. As the song has it,
Come hither, I will show the Bride, which did to John appear.
Descending out of Heaven on high, as crystal stone most clear—
Most precious, and most dear.
But friend, the Bride doth sing a song no other one e’er learns.
They follow Him who makes them strong with deathless love that burns,
With faith that never turns.
Let’s welcome the fire of Pentecost, because it is the Good Spirit of God who is fanning the flame, and He will not stop until He sees His face reflected in the gold. And may His work re-kindle any fire damped down by the trials of life. Remember, if your life is going to amount to anything, “you have to burn about something.” What better to burn about than the ways of God as we’ve learned them from the Word of God.