Dennis Alger for Vancouver UCC
“Fire,” someone shouted in the pre-dawn darkness interrupted by towering flames endeavoring destruction.
“Like tongues of fire,” witnesses to the Pentecost event reported to friends near and far endeavoring empowerment.
Vulnerability is the condition of all creatures, for destruction, pain, dislocation, suffering, deaths, as well as opportunity.
Our existence is combustible. Society needs the spark of compassion we can offer in the midst and aftermath of conflagration. The lingering odor of smoke and burned hymnals, roofing materials, the “Be the Church” banner, and everything else apparently lost. Except for the vision, proclaimed by Joel, reiterated by Peter, and Articulated by Pastor Jennifer.
The church is the people, with, and guided by, audacious faith;
The building, the shelter, the gathering place is transitory, as vulnerable to destruction as the rest of our imaged supremacy.
The destruction witnessed from the cave of our perspective cannot Overwhelm the “still small voice” of eternal promise and presence.
Though we, as persons of faith, are changed, our mission is not. That is to do the work of justice and bring in the Peaceable Realm, with forgiveness, generosity, and joy, all requiring a combustible spirit.