These are flame shaped cookies that helped us celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, 50 days after the resurrection. We celebrate the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives.
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the breaking point.” ~ C.S. Lewis
We all need courage to face the fears in our lives, fear of too little money, too little energy, too little knowledge to make the decisions that face us, fear of embarrassment or ridicule, fear of making a mistake, fear of losing our health, our jobs, and our loved ones. No one is a stranger to fear. And, some people in power or want to be in power can capitalize on that fear. We need courage to live good lives that will please God.
Two thousand years ago, the Romans kept the peace by keeping the population in fear of the authorities. Even the men who were the closest to Jesus of Nazareth were fearful after Jesus had been arrested, tried and convicted, and executed. They feared for their lives. They had been tasked with loving God and their neighbors but how can you do that if you are afraid of anyone you do not know?
And, then, something happened. Something happened with a large sound like a rushing wind, something that was like light and fire. Something happened that was powerful. And, they were no longer hiding in an upper room but out on the streets, teaching, preaching, and healing. They were once again living into the future. They had courage to live lives that glorified God and spoke of God’s love and saving actions in Jesus Christ.
That was the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Advocate, who was the bringer of courage. The Holy Spirit was a life changer. In a world where we are encouraged to fear the outsider, the immigrant, the possible futures, do we need a courage that the world cannot give? This is a courage to become more Christlike, a courage to love and serve instead of fear and hate.
This is a courage to live a life of love. This is a courage the Holy Spirit can give.
We can pray: “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Kindle in us the fire of your love.”