"Jesus said to his disciples, 'I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!'"
My first instinct, when this reading comes around, is to wonder why Jesus chose such a destructive medium to change the world--fire. Why so harsh, Jesus? Then, when I look to the school of creation, there is the answer. In a forest, for example, there are some species of pine tree that only can spread seed during a forest fire. The heat of the fire causes the pine cones to burst and sends the seeds out all over. Only the heat of a blazing fire can make this growth happen. Also, I remember how new little shoots spring up after the ground has been cleared by fire. The nutrient rich soil nourishes the new growth and the previously scorched earth produces new plants and foliage. From the fire, goodness comes. Like a phoenix rises up from ashes, new life--healthy new life--can emerge. Isn't that just like God? And isn't that just like Jesus to be so excited about the kingdom of God to wish it could hurry already? Are there things about ourselves we would like to see seared away? Think about our bad habits and harsh judgements...could we roast marshmallows on a campfire burning some of those away? Only God can make good come from bad. Only God can produce growth from something as destructive as fire. We can just stand in awe of in all...love, heidi