Every human being has a flame, that must not be quenched. Perhaps we should really say: Every human being is a flame, that must never be quenched. This is the flame with which we come out of the fire of the spirit when we are born. It is the greatest art of all to keep this fire burning our whole life long—not only in joy, but also in grief; not only in strength, but also in weakness. Also when you are sick, even if you are mortally ill, the fire can still smolder under the ashes.

There are, however, countless ways to choke this flame and extinguish it. The material world can make a slave of us, a slave of money and possessions, of power and violence, of intoxication and addiction, which make us forget what our task is in this life.

John, the greatest among all human beings, fore-lived, fore-suffered, and fore-died for us how we can keep the inner fire burning. Always, down to our time today, he has been “the burning and shining lamp” (Jn. 5:35), who gives us a radiant example of how we can preserve our flame. In one word John sums up what we need to do: Metanoeite, which means: Change your hearts and minds. (Mt. 3:2) This flame word tells us: Do not stop moving on the way. The flame can only keep burning if every time again you dare leave behind whatever threatens to chain you to the dying earth existence. With this disposition you will one day rise out of the ashes like a Phoenix.

Mensch, so du etwas bist                                         Human Being, if you are truly something,
So bleib ja nur nicht stille stehen.                         Then do not stay there standing still.
Man muss von einem Licht                                      From one light you must go
Fort in das andere gehen.                                        Forth to the other light.
(Angelus Silesius)

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, July 9, 2023

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