On Sunday we celebrated Pentecost. It is the anniversary of that first-century day when the Holy Spirit came in a mighty way upon the disciples of Jesus hunkered down in an upper room in Jerusalem. The Bible’s description of the sudden infilling of those disciples with the Spirit includes this: “Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.” Even since then, fire, which, of course, is a source of light, has been a symbol of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, that symbol also connects to Jesus, who said, “I am the light of the world.”
The fact that these tongues of fire rested on each of Jesus’ followers on Pentecost is a way of showing that when the Spirit fills us, we, too, radiate the light of God. Thus, Spirit-filled Christians are light-bearers. And over the centuries, Christians have “glowed” with that light as they have spread the gospel, shared the good news, gone about doing good, committed sacrificial acts of love for neighbor and even for enemies, and have sought to understand and do the will of God.