After reading an article recently of another Tibetan monk setting himself on fire in protest against the Chinese government I was reminded me of Alicia Keys’ song for Barak Obama on inauguration night.
I have to admit, Alicia’s amazing voice mitigated the full absurdity of this song when you actually consider some of the lyrics (not counting the 11 times she says Obama’s “on fie yuh”). Barak is also “walking on fire”, “hotter than a fantasy”,” got his feet on the ground” but “his head in the clouds”??,” lighting up the night” and perhaps most notably “ruling the world” (along with his wife Michele).
I will resist the temptation to suggest a connection between that last line and prophecies concerning the end times, but I will ask the question of we Christians: how much spark, flame or warmth is coming from you as it relates to the gospel of Christ. We often use fire metaphors to describe the Christian life. Tongues of fire, the fire of the Spirit, being purified by fire or being on fire for God. I have often heard that we should spread the Love of Christ around the world and if necessary use words and I think these fire metaphors fall in line with that thinking to some degree. I more often think of fire as something I feel, smell or see rather than hear and I believe we would do well to embrace that concept in our measure of how effective our lives are in declaring the Good News. Is my light brightly reflecting the sacrificial gift of Christ? Do people feel the warm Love of God coming from me? These are uncomfortable questions for me to ask myself and I suspect they might be for you as well. But these are questions that nevertheless must be asked as we are called to be ambassadors for Christ to this cold and dying world. We are not to measure ourselves by ourselves (that would be too easy). Rather we are to measure our lives by the word of God and Christ Himself. Am I placing myself on the altar of daily sacrifice to become a pleasant odor, guiding light or loving warmth to the un-churched? That is my intent, but more often than I care to admit the good intentions is where I stop, not following through with that daily laying down of my will in deference to Christ.
When people get near me do they risk getting “burned” (in a good way)?