The family service looked at the theme of ‘Fire’ last night.

First of all we had a quiz where we had to come up with words that included fire in them. The answers were varied, including bonfire, firelighter, fireguard, fired, misfire, ceasefire and hellfire! A number of people came up with over 20 words and received prizes:

Fire has three primary purposes, giving us heat and warmth, light and being useful for cooking. Mark spoke from Acts 2 about the fire of the Holy Spirit. God is described as a ‘consuming fire’ (Deut 4:24) and fire is often used in the Bible to describe destruction and refining (eg the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Gen 19). Jesus is described as being like a ‘refiner’s fire’ (Mal 3:2). John the Baptist told his disciples that Jesus would ‘baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire’ (Matt 3:11) and in Acts 2:1-4, we see the fulfilment of this prophecy.

On the Day of Pentecost, the people were all together in unity. There was mutual consent, harmony leading to action; they were of one mind and purpose. This unity was vital to the infilling of the Holy Spirit. There was a need for them to know God’s power and boldness to do what He wanted them to do. The results of this infilling was that they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages (which were recognised by people from other countries.) They spoke out about the wonderful works of God and as a result of this, the church grew rapidly. These disciples were transformed from scared, fearful people, hiding away because of their fears, into bold, fearless proclaimers of God’s truths.

We need the Holy Spirit’s fire within our lives. We need His gifts, not only to edify the church but to reach out to a world in need.

Mark brought little candles to represent the fire of the Holy Spirit and urged us to keep these with us throughout the coming week, as a reminder to pray and as a visual reminder that the light of God is within us.