Some of the things I enjoy about summertime are fireworks and campfires. Fire is an amazing and mysterious reality. It is ethereal; a force that seems almost magical. It is beautiful and mesmerizing to watch. It is an extremely powerful and useful form of energy that can be used to provide warmth, light, comfort, and entertainment. It is a tool that has the power to create and transform, or destroy. And it is the means by which we prepare much of the food that nourishes us.
The 2023 theme for Laurel camp is “Sacred Fire.” In the Word, fire is often connected with the holiness of the Lord. The Lord appeared to Moses in a bush that was engulfed in sacred fire. The Lord guided the children of Israel through the wilderness with a pillar of fire. Mt. Sinai was covered in fire when the Ten Commandments were given to Moses. Fire was a holy part of many functions in the Tabernacle. Elijah called fire from heaven on Mt. Carmel, and Elisha witnessed the power of heaven in the form of chariots of fire. Jesus said that we could be baptized with fire and the Holy Spirit. And in many visions of prophets and revelators, the Lord is often surrounded by fire.
Swedenborg says that the Lord appears in heaven in the fire of the spiritual sun. This is because “love in its essence is spiritual fire” (True Christianity 35.12). Just like fire, love is amazing, mysterious, ethereal, magical, mesmerizing, beautiful, powerful, warm, comforting, entertaining, creative, transformative, and nourishing. When we feel passionately about something we often talk about being “fired up” or “lit up.” And the more we use our own “fire” for goodness in the world, the more we are filled with the Lord’s “sacred fire,” the fire of spiritual and heavenly love.
Registration for Laurel Camp is open until July 15: www.laurelcamp.org