This Sunday Christians all around the world will celebrate Pentecost and the day that the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus' followers. As described in Acts 2
, it is a catalytic moment in the life story of Christ's Church. Filled with rushing winds, a cacophony of voices, and tongues of fire dancing above the heads of those gathered, it is a story that continues to inspire and inform our journey as participants in God's global mission of reconciliation.
With Pentecost in mind, this week we offer a meditation on fire from the Maasai people of Tanzania. As compiled in An African Prayer Book
by Desmond Tutu, it goes like this:
A Fire Blessing
Thank you, Father, for your free gift of fire.
Because it is through fire that you draw near to us every day.
It is with fire that you constantly bless us.
Our Father, bless this fire today.
With your power enter into it.
Make this fire a worthy thing.
A thing that carries your blessing.
Let it become a reminder of your love.
A reminder of life without end.
Make the life of these people to be baptized like this fire.
A thing that shines for the sake of people
A thing that shines for your sake.
Father, heed this sweet-smelling smoke.
Make their life also sweet smelling.
A thing sweet smelling that rises to God.
A holy thing.
A thing fitting for you.