PASTOR'S PEN: Bonfires

There is something about gathering around a ‘Bonfire’ that is so relaxing, especially when joined by family and friends. Then if you add a hotdog roasted over the open fire or a marshmallow melted then placed between a graham cracker and a chocolate candy, WOW!

‘Bonfires’ — It doesn’t matter if it is in the backyard, a campground or out in the wilds, caution not setting the forest ablaze! Proverbs tells that a fire is never satisfied, always ready to consume more wood.

Just watching those flames reaching up toward heaven, giving off heat and lighting up the surrounding area, but then there is the smoke that sometimes likes to follow you around, doesn’t matter which way the wind is blowing.

Have we ever wondered how long people have been enjoying bonfires? Looking back we know that in years past those fires were more for staying warm, then also for cooking meals to survive.

Can you imagine sharing a ‘Bonfire’ with Jesus, during those dark nights, His company, His teaching those closest to Him? Then explaining in more detail what He had shared with the multitudes just hours before, sharing with them why the Father had sent Him, John 3:16-17 tells us:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

It would be hard for them to comprehend as they sat there with Him in the dim light of a ‘Bonfire! We too may have a hard time understanding why Jesus would be willing to give His life for the sinners. Yes, that includes us!

Many of us have lost a loved one, we can relate to the Disciples feelings. However many of us may have faced the loss of one who had been told that their life was about to end here on earth. Many times leaving us with the question of why now!

Another teaching of Jesus’ to the Disciples is found in John 14:1-6:

“'Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.'

"Thomas said to Him, 'Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?'

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”

Some may find Thomas’ questioning one of their own concerns. Jesus tells us that by confessing Him as our Lord and Savior we will know the way. Then by the power of the Holy Spirit which lives within us, will guide us into every truth that Jesus spoke.

At your next ‘Bonfire’ reflect on those comforting Words Jesus spoke to those gathered with Him.

— Ron Witbeck is the associate pastor of Resurrection Life Church in Big Rapids.