Fire is an emblem of divinity, political, and social unity.
For millions of years our ancestors kept warm with fire.
It protected them from being attacked by wild animals,
Served as a meeting place for tribal communities,
Where religious rites like chanting, and telling stories were performed.
Most importantly, after a hunt hunters cooked their meals with fire.
Ancient traditions glorify fire.
In the Hindu tradition the goddess Shiva –
Destroyer, transformer, maintainer, and preserver is depicted as dancing in a circle of fire.
The Book of Exodus described Moses’s encounter with a burning bush.
Classical Greek mythology showed how Promethus –
The champion of mankind stole fire from the gods to give to humans.
And Acts of the Apostles reminded Christian believers
How the Holy Spirit appeared to the disciples as flames of fire.
In ancient Persia and Rome fire played a prominent role.
The Zoroastrian religion made use of fire, and clean water to represent ritual purity,
While priests tended the eternal fires on fire-altars.
In the Roman religion Vestal was the Roman goddess of the hearth,
Who was the protectorate, and were served by chaste Vestal Virgins.
Today, Paris burns a flame of national significance.
It’s known as The Eternal Flame at the Arc de Triomphe.
John F. Kennedy’s Eternal Flame symbolizes eternal life,
While the flame at the War Memorial
Shows Americans’ profound gratitude towards the remembrance
Of our dead service men and women.
“God, help us to understand more fully the symbolism of fire. Let us be always cognizant of the good things it signifies.”