“Yes our God he is a consuming fire And the flames melt down deep in my soul yes Our God he is a consuming fire he reaches inside and melts down this cold heart of stone.”- Third Day
Third day is no longer around, but for years they had great songs and changed a lot of lives.
But the song that got them moving was consuming fire. Why? Because the lyrics were not touchy feel good. Talked about change! That we don’t always need to feel good in our Christian walk. That our hearts are not ready for the spotlight, and indeed are “Hearts of stone.”- Ezekiel 36:26.
Next Sunday starts Advent, one of the most sacred times of the church year. A time when we not only breakout the sweet Christmas cards of Jesus, but we also keep in mind why He came.
I sometimes lament the sweet, commercialized vibes of Christmas. As if the only reason Jesus came what is to make us feel good for a few weeks in December. The feelings this holiday season are real, but Advent reminds us Jesus came (and is coming!) not only to love, but also change: “ He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” Matthew tells us. The word for fire is used to not only describe intensity, but also various circumstances of trial in other places in the New Testament. In other words, Christ was born and is coming again to make something great out of our lives, and greatness has a cost.
What are you willing to change this Advent? Maybe it’s your feelings each Holiday knowing your loved ones are no longer here. Maybe for to long you and a Charles Dickens ‘Ebenezer Scrooge’ have something in common in which you simply don’t show love at all to anyone. Whatever it may be, Christ is not indifferent to your plight, His greatest act of dying on the cross for sin was also the most costly. But like Third day’s song: what you gain is far greater than what you lose, you gain Christ’s Holy Spirit. There isn’t a better time to change for Jesus: than today.
John Thomas is a Pastor at Carroll Springs UMC