What kind of flame-catcher are you?
Would you pay $1,000 for a bundle of firewood?
In 2015, a video clip titled ‘Maker Series: Artisanal Firewood’ began making the rounds on social media. It profiled Smoke & Flame, “a Vancouver artisanal firewood company that is selling bundles of kindling for $1,000”. The video shows the firewood craftsmen labouring over each log – sniffing, scrubbing, and brushing with painstaking care.
It was, of course, a spoof – produced by CBC Radio as part of their series ‘This is That’, a satirical current affairs show. The clip slyly poked fun at the growing trend of “artisan-made” products, which attempt to elevate the status of hand-crafted goods, though with an often laughable price tag.
Beyond the comedic element, however, the video gives one pause for thought: What kind of flame-catcher are we?
- The “artisanal firewood” that goes through so much care and preparation, only to sit in a window, reluctant to be thrown into the fire?
- The match that flares quickly, transfers its flame to others, and burns out in a matter of seconds?
- The candle which, though small and flickering, illumines a dark room for hours?
- The sparkler that uses its spits and sputters to change the form of the flame which lights it?
- The common coal, rough and dirty and slow to light, yet glowing well into the night?
As we enter this season of Lent, perhaps it is time to reflect on the above in light of our spiritual walk. How quickly do we catch the “flame” of the Holy Spirit? How easily do we submit to His refining and transforming work in us? And how do we manifest the flame of faith in each of our lives, for God’s glory?
In this respect, there is much we can learn from the story and life of Methodism’s founder, Englishman John Wesley – he who was quite literally “plucked from the burning” as a child victim of arson, and whose “strangely warmed” revival experience as an adult led to a lasting process of revitalisation, not only for himself and his church, but spreading like wildfire throughout his country and the world.
Come join the Methodist family at our yearly reunion – Aldersgate SG 2017 – as we reflect on how we can ‘Catch the Flame’ through learning about ‘The Wesleyan Pursuit of Holiness’ over 21, 23 and 24 May at Paya Lebar Methodist Church. Come and be “strangely warmed” as a Methodist body, to grow “together as one” in Christ’s service!
Stay tuned for more info in Methodist Message or through your churches, or sign up at tinyurl.com/MCShappenings for updates right in your inbox.
Just for fun: Find out which flame-catcher you are at message.methodist.org.sg/catch-the-flame!
Picture by serkucher/Bigstock.com