Fire & Rain: A James Taylor Mass

Posted: 3/2/2012

A "Fire and Rain" Service of Healing
Sunday, March 11, at 9:00am
By Father Chris Hardman

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again.

"Fire and Rain" is one of those wonderful songs written by James Taylor that has helped many people get in touch with their own feelings of loss, and to move toward redemption. I don't imagine that Mr. Taylor intended for those words to be sung in Church, but that is what we are going to do on Sunday, March 11 at the 9:00am service. We are going to sing those words because they can be healing words for us all.

Fire and rain, as you may know, are symbols of the Holy Spirit. This is the very Spirit of Jesus given to us that brings us out of our brokenness and alienation into God's wholeness and new life.

When I lived in Central Florida wild fires would pop up most everywhere this time of year. One particularly devastating fire occurred in the Ocala Forest along a highway that I traveled quite often. For months it looked like a burned and charred mess. But after awhile, if you looked closely, you would begin to see new growth coming out of the darkness. The fire had burned away many of the trees, light began to reach new places, and so new life began to grow.

Sometimes our lives are like that. Sometimes life gets stuck, bogged down, and choked out. And then the Spirit comes and stirs things up and we begin to move and grow again.

That is what we hope will happen in this special healing service. May the Spirit bring "fire and rain" so we might all be transform into what God calls us to be.