“The Holy Spirit and Fire”
We thank you, O God, for the assurance that evaluation, judgment, and justice are in the hands of the Son of God and not in the hands of beings who are as frail and fallible as we are, even ones as spectacularly in touch with you as people like John the Baptist were and are. We trust that the separation of the wheat from the chaff is and will be conducted according to your absolute justice, love, mercy, and grace.
And yet—we are all of mixed character and quality, aren’t we? We all need our chaff to be separated from our wheat, don’t we?
So we thank you for the Spirit, O God, with which Jesus touches us and through which he shows us how to be his disciples and through which he affirms us when we are heading in the right direction and convicts us when we are not.
So we thank you for the fire, O God, with which Jesus touches us and through which he takes away and destroys that which hinders our discipleship to him and our relationship with you.
Make us bold to embrace the work of the Spirit and the fire in our lives.
“’I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire’” (Matthew 3:11-12).