“A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar. It shall not go out.”
The Israelite priests
had an almost divine responsibility
in keeping a fire burning on the altar.
God’s first creation was light.
Moses first saw God in a bush that appeared to be burning
but was not consumed.
While ancient offerings on the altar “went up in smoke,”
the priests kept the fire burning.
We have no such offerings today of sacrifices, as did our ancestors.
What we can offer is the flame in our hearts
that can represent the spark of God in each of us
or the fire in our souls when we experience moments
when our personal connection to all of creation comes clear to us,
even if only for a brief moment.
The fire is not ours to keep to ourselves,
but one that we should share with our community,
so that we can say to our children and grandchildren
that we did our part to keep a perpetual and communal flame burning
so that it would not go out.
May that flame provide warmth, comfort and hope within our hearts.