Chariots of fire
Sunday, May 20, 2018
From Acts 2
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house. Then there appeared to them tongues of fire, which parted and came to rest on each. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
Episcopal Primate and Bishop Michael Curry brought home the fires of love to Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding yesterday. His sparkling eyes and bright smile edged his words with joy and confidence. He recalled the power of fire: “There was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no Industrial Revolution without fire.”
And he referenced the words of Teilhard de Chardin: “The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
Fifty days after Easter, what wonderful words.
Rev. Curry said, “We were made by a power of love, and our lives are meant to be lived in that love. That’s why we are here.”
Andi tells us that our grandson Miles has been practicing saying, “No.” He seems to be enjoying the sound of the word. When she responded with the word “Yes,” he began to cry.
Andi and Aki have a wonderful sense of humor. Miles is developing his. Their family culture, which is grounded in mutual respect, welcomes the daily fires of love to purify and shape their words, their touch, their One-Another-Life. There is no hurry. There is never any hurry.
Raising a child need not be particularly efficient, but it must be loving. And that love, as Gerald May writes in The Awakened Heart, “cannot be a means to an end. Love is the lightning-spirit energy of the universe; it is something we join, not something we utilize” (p. 235).
In the royal wedding ten children held each other’s hands, lifted Meghan’s train, carried flowers, stared in wonder at everything around them. Their energy, best called love, brought me to my knees. They were spending their day with wide-open eyes, mostly unencumbered by thoughts of judgment, efficiency, or decorum. They were not tempted, as Dr. May says, “to overrun real love with frantic attempts to be helpful.”
And then, on this day after, tongues of fire fill the air, the Holy Spirit descends upon us, and once again we are called to choose life. It is the Feast of Pentecost! “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire,” Paul cautioned his Thessalonian friends. “DO NOT!”
We are God’s kids. And we can live this moment, tinged by flame, for all it’s worth.
Lord, you made the universe from the inside out. And you made US that way too. Our ways of doing what we do always come back to that we’re loved. We love God, we love each other, and I love myself just the way you love me, and have always loved me, and will always love me. Your way of love establishes the work of my hands.