“For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:6, NASB)
Today’s verse reminds us of simple yet often ignored truth, the gift of the Spirit requires responsible continued attention. The greek word translated “kindle afresh” in the New American Standard Bible, is a difficult word to translate cleanly. An examination of five versions yielded four different translations.
- The English Standard Version and New International Version-“fan a flame”
- New Revised Standard Version-“rekindle”
- King James-“Stir up”
- New American Standard Bible-“kindle afresh”
The translation challenge that results in so many different version is that the greek word is a compounding of several things. Perhaps, a more literal and accurate translation would be something to the effect of “to fire to life again.” Regardless of the translation the image given is a of having been given a fire that needs continued tending to burn and burn well. I teach fire making skills to camp counselors and children every Summer. I can’t tell you how many times I have started a fire for a struggling group only to leave for a little bit and find it nearly extinguished for a lack of care.
Caretaking a fire requires feeding and stoking. You must continually feed a fire so that it has fuel to keep burning. Often times you also have to interact with the fire to keep it going. You may have to rearrange some logs so they get better air flow or you may need to shuffle the coals around to expose them. I am learning through scripture and through this novena that the gift of the Holy Spirit needs to be also feed and interacted with. Through studying the Word we can feed the gift of the Holy Spirit. By exercising our spiritual gifts we can feed the gift of the Holy Spirit. Through prayer, particularly asking the Spirit to teach us and/or leaning on the Spirit for strength, comfort and discernment we can interact with the Spirit. What will you do today to actively feed or stoke the fire that has been placed in you?
Holy Spirit, Paul told Timothy in an earlier letter “do not to neglect the spiritual gift within you.” (1 Timothy 1:14) His language in this letter is even more proactive. This word reveals to me a history of being passive in attention to you. I prayer that I will continue when this novena is complete to seek to learn more about you. I would like to come away with a plan from this nine day period of reflection for knowing specifically, how I should continue to “rekindle” or “kindle afresh” this gift. I give you thanks for this word today. Amen.
If you missed the beginning of this “Dose of the Ghost” series, just read this post, A Protestant Novena, A Dose of the Ghost.