Thursday, February 18, 2010

we rise from ashes

So, I'm a day late here, but campfires are one of my very favorite things.  Or maybe I should say that I have many fond memories of good conversations and sitting around a fire with friends.  I read this reflection yesterday, and I thought it was so perfect that I can't resist sharing it.   The picture is mine, but the reflection is not. 
God is fire -- we rise from ashes  

A campfire warms you in the cold night air.  In silence and solitude you reflect on questions:  "Who am I?"  "Where am I going?"  "What must I do now?"  The campfire dies does, it crackles no more, and there are only ashes.  

Today is Ash Wednesday, which begins the great season of Lent.  We reflect on the core values of our Christian faith, the rhythm of death and new life.  Ashes indicate there was once fire.  The fire is now gone.  We go to the source to be inflamed again.  God is fire; without God, we are ashes.  
The Lord says, "Return to me with all your heart!"  In other words, "Come in out of the cold and warm up!"  God pleads for our return.  "Now is the acceptable time!" says Paul.  Don't wait.  Come and light the fire. The gospel gives us the spiritual tools of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting for bringing cold embers back to life.  

Hike into the furthest reaches of your heart.  What has gone to ashes?  Prayer?  Discipleship?  Enthusiasm?  Joy?  Hope?  Trust?  Perhaps we need to fast from noise and busyness in order to hear God speaking in the silence.  Perhaps we need to fast from television and entertainment in order to hear God in the cries of the poor and the stranger.  As you leave the campfire, what is in your backpack?  With ashes on our foreheads, let us walk toward the blazing energy and promise of Easter fire.    

Credit for the reflection goes to Rev. Robert F. Dueweke, OSA in the February, 2010 issue of "Living With Christ" 

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