We Wait on Fire

“We Wait on Fire”©            by Rev. Jim Ryan,  jimryan6885@gmail.com

We are waiting on fire.  We Christians have two days before the Easter Vigil to get ready for the fire next time.  Of course, the joke is on us because the fire has already come.  We, frail and faulty as we are, have a need to regularly be reminded of this fire that has already come.

Why fire?  Why this thing that is both warm and comforting as well as treacherous and destroying?  Why this desire to rekindle what we have already experienced – that Christ is Risen?  It could be because we are, in fact, dependent upon reminders – that our life’s story is one bumpy highway following after another of walking in the light while stumbling over our own feet.  So, we gather, again, to light the fire that comforts and illuminates.

Because we need the reminders we gather in Vigil to hear again the stories, the old, old stories of how we got here and where we are headed.  Once informed and reminded we bless and sprinkle water because this night is clear and pure.  This Vigil night sprinkles the baptismal water that unexpectedly fans the flames of this holy fire.

We do all this with symbols that open our eyes to the single event that makes all the difference.  He is Risen!  We do not know what to say – the words don’t match the experience.  We cannot bear the light – Easter fire gives hope in this event of unbearable brightness.  We constantly remind ourselves that we are celebrating “after the fact.”  After all, Christ died once for all!  We wash in baptismal bath – this water is newer than new, cleaner than clean.  We do all this – we even renew the promises of our baptism to attempt this recapture of love that is never earned and will never be lost.

This Easter of 2018 is way too early in the calendar.  But that’s what happens when we try to capture the light – be it fire, be it sun, be it moon.  As you know Easter Sunday’s date is fixed every year based upon the full moon that follows the vernal equinox – which means this year, Sunday, April 1.  Our puny efforts at celebrating limitless light and unquenchable fire must make God laugh.  Which is another good reason to celebrate Resurrection.  Laugh, enjoy, rejoice that Christ enters your life and does not let go.

So, whether it’s Easter sunrise or Spring’s first full moon it still comes back to the light which we see that represents this faith we share.  We wait on fire to share the warmth and comfort of the gift of love which we are required to give away in turn.

Happy Easter!    Blessings of New Fire!

A Prayer

We wait on fire that lights and warms the way of Christ.

He is Risen!  He is truly Risen!

We see this light of Christ in all creation –

in the heavens and on earth.

Words are not enough.

Actions are pale reminders.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

God in us – us in God

who is Creator, Redeemer, Holy Spirit

now and evermore.        Amen.

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