The fire burns brightly

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‘Why do you have an Easter Service on Dores Beach?’ Andreas asked me at church on Friday. I talked about the tradition of dawn services on Easter Sunday, marking the Rising of the Son; I talked about the risen Jesus appearing to his disciples on a beach, cooking a breakfast of fish over the fire; I talked about the special place Dores Beach has in many of our hearts. ‘One of the most beautiful places in the world,’ someone said – and on our doorstep.

The fire is important, I think.  A source of heat and warmth; a symbol of the never-to-be-extinguished life of Christ. Here’s a picture of the fire on the beach – and the fuel someone had brought along to ensure it did not go out.

It reminded me of the first song we heard before the Disciples at the Supper play on Thursday – The Flame, by Celtic singer Beth Neilsen Chapman. Here are the words:

O come ye now unto the flame
Keep it through the night
Nourish it and share its warmth
And spend its precious light
The torch is passed among us all
To help us understand
A covenant of brotherhood
That joins our open hand

We are standing at the edge
Faced with just one choice
Teach each other to be kind
And let our hearts rejoice
As different as we seem to be
We are still the same
Divided by our separate walls
But joined before the flame

O come ye now unto the flame
Keep it through the night
Shelter and embrace it’s warmth
And spend its precious light
The darkness makes us all afraid
But we are not along
The beacon of our common love
Will guide our journey home

The flame of Christ burns on forever, but we are challenged to nurture that flame within our lives so that our experience of Christ is not damped down by our cares, or our choices.

Which fire am I standing beside?  The fire of denial, where Peter said of Jesus ‘I don’t know the man!’ or the fire of encounter and forgiveness where, on the beach Peter was forgiven, and a fire kindled in her heart which never went out.

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