A Divine Spark
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11
There is a divine spark within each of us. It burned before we were born, and it continues to burn after our earthly passing. Some call it our soul, our spirit, our True Self, our essence, but it is that which connects us to God – and to each other. When the Bible records in Genesis that we are made in the image and likeness of God, it is because this spark within is from and of God, as if a candle lit from the flame of God.
When we come to earth, that spark clothes itself in a human body, grows, and gets lost in the various phases of our earthiness. The spark within often becomes buried so deep underneath our busy schedules and many obligations and material distractions that it is hard to find or even sense its presence. But it continues to burn. When our earthly body gives out – as everything of the earth eventually does – that spark, which makes us who we are at our core, exits its physical body and continues on, because it is inseparably connected to our eternal God.
There are moments in life when we find ourselves very close to that spark – times when we feel most like our true, genuine, and naked selves, most at home, most contented, most at peace, most loved, and most loving. Simone Weil writes, “In everything which gives us the pure authentic feeling of beauty there really is the presence of God.” Sometimes those moments occur in periods of great sorrow, but it is in those moments we may catch a glimpse of God shining through others and us. It is in those moments we learn something of the nature of God, and the nature of ourselves in God. In those grace-filled times, we experience a connection that stretches into eternity, and we know with a knowledge beyond all knowing that God is good – that God is Love. Once we have approached that fire we cannot keep ourselves away from it. We are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. We are baptized by fire, to use an image provided by John the Baptist.
Like all fire, we may be warmed, or we may be burned, but we will be changed. When we trust in God’s goodness, we know that however the fire of the spirit changes us, the change will be for good.
Come home to church this Sunday. Draw near to your divine spark.