Holy Fire

This is Great Saturday of Orthodox Pascha (Easter) weekend. Thousands gather every year outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, awaiting Holy Fire from the empty tomb. Today Ellen and I were hosted by a friend for lunch next to Manger Square in Bethlehem when the report came that the flame had appeared in Jerusalem. We hurried out into the great space in front of the Church of the Nativity to wait for the fire to come our way.

The Orthodox Patriarch had emerged from the sepulcher in Jerusalem with two lit candles to share with the world. It took about ninety minutes for the fire to reach Bethlehem, by which time marching bands were playing and thousands had convened with candles—no, BUNDLES of candles. The flame arrived and rapidly spread across the crowd with commotion, joy, and lots of photographs. At that moment charter planes were carrying the fire to countries around the world.

A Pentecostal experience. Whether or not you think the Holy Fire is a miracle, it’s a splendid metaphor of the gospel reaching the ends of the earth one flame at a time.


See my new book on how followers of Jesus engage conflict and become ambassadors of reconciliation: Stuck Together–The Hope of Christian Witness in a Polarized World. https://www.amazon.com/Stuck-Together-Christian-Witness-Polarized/dp/1513810642/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1681573557&sr=1-2

One Comment Add yours

  1. Anna Predoti says:

    Wow! What an amazing experience to have there!!


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