The stage is set, the drama of life unfurls and attention is drawn to the fire and flood.
When the pantomime villain enters stage left the scene is often set with emerald green light and the flash of pyrotechnics at the front of the stage. The flash and the bang draw the attention and it feels as if all that matters is the villain and their dastardly deeds. As the chorus of boos ring out we are aware of the predicament of our hero and have no idea how they might survive the latest act of treachery.
So in life the fires, the flashes and the bangs, draw our attention. The metaphorical fires, and sometimes the very real fires, that rage through life can leave a situation where you have no idea how you might overcome it. However it is then that the words of the Prophet Isaiah should ring in our ears.
It is time to move away from the pantomime response to the mess of life and move on from simple boos and anger to realising that there is more. Isaiah tells us that God will be with us as “we walk through the fire.” We know that we have the company of God in the face of the panto baddies, but also the very real trials and tribulations of life, that we will, as the hero always does, prevail in the face of whatever is in front of us.
As the pyro-flashes of life burn around us, help us to remember that you are with us in life. Guide us as we travel and remind us that we travel with you, and we need not be afraid for you are with us.
1 But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
4 Because you are precious in my sight,
and honoured, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you;
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up’,
and to the south, ‘Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away
and my daughters from the end of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.’