“…a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD…” (Leviticus 1:9b)
Church is like fire.
Church is not a flashlight, which emits artificial light for a while but runs out of battery. People don’t get excited about flashlight.
Church is not a heater, which emits artificial warmth for a limited area of space. And I hate heaters because they dry and hurt my skin.
But church is like fire. At the very least, it is the little fire on a candle and illuminates the darkness. At its intended function, church is like a campfire that has both natural light (of truth) and natural warmth (of fellowship), and people flock to it and to sit around it. At its fullest, church is a like great forest fire that spreads all over the place so people will know the power of the Creator.
Fire is the essential too for Old Testament believers to offer up sacrifices to God. For us New Testament believers, it is the tool by which we are tested and refined to be pleasing to God and to be molded to be used by God.
Building fire requires teamwork. You don’t just flip on a switch to get light or get warmth. Building fire is real team work… someone has to gather the wood or the fuel, someone else has to ignite it, and someone else has to keep it going.
Fire is wondrous and mysterious. It is also beautiful. I miss those high school days in Hong Kong when we roasted chickens on a stick around the fire.
Happy fire building!