Hearts on Fire

Hearts on Fire

…there seemed to be a fire burning in my heart.
Jeremiah 20:9

Hearts on Fire

I wanted it.
Desired it greatly.
Yearned for its coming.
But when it did come
I fought, resisted,
Ran, hid away.

I said, “Go home!”
I didn’t know
The fire of God
Could be more
Than a gentle glow
Or a cozy consolation.

I didn’t know
It could come as a blaze.

As a wildfire
Searing my soul,
Chasing my old ways,
Smoking them out.

Only when I stopped running,
Gave up the chase,
Did I know the fire’s flaming
As consolation and joy.

Only then
Could I welcome
the One whose fire
I had long sought.

– Joyce Rupp “May I Have This Dance?”
Ave Maria Press Notre Dame, IN 1992 p. 106


Greetings in the Name of Christ!

I feel the pull Rupp speaks about in her poem, “Hearts on Fire” here at Epworth UMC.  Since arriving two years ago, I hear the longing from the majority of folks desiring to have the church filled with people who love God: wanting to worship and learn more about God’s ways and to serve God within the community and world. I want that also.  I believe that is what God wants.  But, transformation begins within one’s self.  Each one of us must be willing to surrender and become part of the transformation that we want to see.  Our Christian faith is not a once and done deal, but a way of life that is new each morning.

Each one of must embrace the mission and vision statement and make it part of our life style.  Now is not the time to find excuses as Moses’ tried before finally relinquishing to God’s call on his life.  (You are not too old as Moses was 80 years of age when he received his call.)  Now is not the time to be a doubting Thomas and be missing from the community.  (Thomas missed the first encounter of Jesus with his disciples following the resurrection.)  Now is not the time to critique, but a time to be engulfed with the Spirit and be a “Doer of the word” (James 1:22).

There is an incredible gift in surrendering to the Holy Spirit as Rupp writes: only then did I know consolation and joy.  If Epworth UMC is to be a beacon of hope as many of you desire, then we will need to be in this together and engulfed with the Holy Spirit.  May each of us surrender and find the greatest gift from God.

In Christ’s Light and Love,

Pastor Pat