15 May Glowing coal
When I was growing up in the picturesque village of Malanegomé in Southwest Chad, I would often see women carrying little clay pots containing glowing coals. Every morning, and sometimes in the evening, if their own fire had gone out, they would take their piece of pottery to a neighbour’s home and bring back a few coals to relight their fire. Since there were no matches or lighters, this was the only way to rekindle a fire. The solidarity meant the fire never went out in the village. This is a great image of how we depend on each other to keep alight the fire of the gospel in our world that is in rebellion against God. When our societies have a definition of freedom and human rights that take no account of God, His Word, His wisdom and His rights as Creator; when the rich get richer at the expense of the poor; when countries selfishly close their borders to economic immigrants; when different forms of injustice and discrimination invade our society, then it is an urgent priority to rekindle the fire of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of the love of God and our neighbour, of serving and dying for others.
‘His worda is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot,’ cries the prophet (Jeremiah 20:9). Isn’t this what should be burning in us too as believers and disciples of Jesus? We are invited to be people who carry glowing coals to rekindle the fire of the gospel in our hearts, our homes, our families and in a world that sometimes wants the gospel fire to be extinguished and replace with materialism, consumerism and secularism.
As I reflect back on the Christmas season at the start of this new year, my prayer is that the memory of our Saviour’s birth will be the glowing coal that you carry to rekindle the fire of the gospel.
Dr Daniel Bourdanne
General Secretary, IFES
(Courtesy: http://ifesworld.org/en/ blog/2013/04/rekindling-fire-gospel)