For this reason I remind you to kindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:6-7
Adopted shortly after the merger of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the symbol of the cross and flame relates the United Methodist Church to God through Christ (cross) and the Holy Spirit (flame). The flame is a reminder of Pentecost when witnesses were unified by the power of the Holy Spirit and saw "tongues, as of fire" (Acts 2:3). The two tongues of a single flame may also be understood to represent the union of two denominations. The two separate flames represent the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church coming together to form the United Methodist Church.
Thinking back to when our daughters were little, they loved camping. They were Girl Scout, and even I was a registered Girl Scout. Although there are aspects of camping that can be extremely annoying, being out in God's creation was a faith builder.
One of the aspects of camping that everyone enjoyed was the bonfire. As the sun set and the darkness engulfed the campsite all the children gathered around the fire giggling, heating their marshmallows, and consuming those delicious smores. The fire would draw everyone in at the campsite and there were stories and times of great fellowship.
However, as timed passed, the flames tend to die down and a layer of ash covered the embers. There was always someone who would stir the coals and add more firewood and once again the fire is blazing - radiating its heat and light throughout the campsite.
Our Christian lives are like that bonfire. We are on fire for God shining light to everyone around us. In time the fire will die down and needs to be rekindled. Those embers we can't see need to be stirred and another log needs to be thrown into the pit.
Our desire to serve wanes, our desire to follow God can falter because other things become our priority and before you know it we lose our way.
Just as Paul was encouraging Timothy to rekindle the spiritual fire within, the Bible reminds us that we all have spiritual gifts. Timothy's was preaching, what is yours?
At the beginning of my article I gave an explanation of the Cross and Flames, the symbol of the United Methodist Church. The flames are ablaze and living. I hope we all consider rekindling the fire within to keep the passion for God alive. By rekindling your fire may you help others rekindle their fire. Let's fan into flame God's gift, what ever it is, so that we can serve God with passion and fervor.