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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.




5 August 2010

After he had been many years in the cloister he longed to go into strange lands... Accordingly he confessed to the venerable father, Comgall, the burning desire of his heart and the longing enkindled by the fire of the Lord, concerning which the Lord says, "I am come to send fire on the earth..."

- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)

"I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled."

- Luke 12.49

Jesus came to cast fire on the earth. What kind of fire? Fire that separates things from one another, as He goes on in this passage to explain. I grew up in a steel town and there fire was used to separate pure metal from useless slag. The metal, separated from the slag by fire, was put to thousands of uses benefiting people in all kinds of ways. The slag was piled up on the mill grounds, useful for nothing.

When Jesus casts His fire - the fire of the Gospel, of the Word, of His Spirit - against our souls, does any separation occur? Do you feel yourself being jolted free from the banality of the world? The insipidity of pop culture? The meaningless of materialism? The shallowness of everyday relationships? The fears and doubts that haunt so many of your neighbors? Do you feel a fire kindled in your soul, creating a desire for holiness and a passion to reach out to the lost?

Make no mistake about it: Jesus is casting fire on the earth. He said so. And that fire is either purifying and preparing us for strong uses in advancing the Kingdom of God, or it is setting us aside in the slag piles of postmodern American life. When Columbanus experienced that fire, he knew he had to leave his comfortable professorship and go among the backslidden Christians and lost pagans of Europe, proclaiming and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a holy and perpetual glow.

Oh, friends! Where are the believers today who are thus affected by the fire of Jesus? Are we so encrusted in comforts and convenience that the fire of the Lord simply bounces off the hard worldly shells of our lives? Or have we even known that fire for the first time?

Jesus is casting fire on the earth. Don't you want to be consumed by that holy conflagration?

Exercise for the Month: We'll be working on this all month long. This week begin making a list of all the people you meet, day-by-day. Start praying for them, using some of the promises of Scripture. Pray daily and throughout the day, asking the Lord to give you a heart to reach out to these people whom you encounter throughout your peregrinatio. All this week, just concentrate on prayer. Drop me a line and tell me how it's going.

Today in ReVision: Ethics - Remember ethics?

This Week's Download: Go get the Impact and Understanding of the Bible: A Questionnaire and start becoming familiar with it. We'll be using it a little later this month.

Don't forget to visit our book store to discover the resources available there.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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