The images of fire-filled Fort McMurray
remain close to us as we near Pentecost.

With pastoral sensitivity, and out of kindness,
some have suggested setting aside fire imagery
and holding up other Pentecost images.

I tried to.

I sat with the Pentecost-as-Breath story in John 20:19-22
and practiced the Prayer-of-the-Breath.

Like this:
Be still. Let your breath take you deep into the quiet centre of your being. As you breathe feel your heart expand. Breathe in peace. Breathe out whatever has a hold on your being present, right here and right now.

I also love the part of the Acts story with the fascinating babble of voices. (Acts 2:5-12)
The disciples were scattered, fragmented, unconnected and dis-spirited.
And then, something about this Jesus-Rising set off re-creation.
Those with ears to hear could distinguish a new sound of harmony.

It was powerful.
It drove them into the streets.
It changed everything.
“They went out into all the world to tell the story.
                              (Godly Play story “The Mystery of Pentecost”)

Pentecost re-ignites our desire for one-ness.
It is our non-dualistic vision,
refusing to separate,
inviting gathering, unity, connection, and hope.
And we so need this Pentecost of leaning into one-ness.

THEN,  I read this article.

And, all I want to talk about this Pentecost is Fire Beetles.
They come where fire has been.
They seek to restore.
They are  “shimmering like little jewels on these black-burned trees, laying their eggs and doing their thing.”

They “help turn deadwood back into soil, allowing seedlings to return to the landscape in a matter of months. Research shows that if the insects aren’t there to chew their way through the blackened logs, the burned landscape remains stagnant for much longer.”

Surely this is the Mystery of Pentecost;
the mystery of renewal,
the new life out of ash.
This is the work, not just of beetles, but of human compassion.

Come, Holy Spirit,
Come as a fire beetle.