In the heart of the Pennsylvania coal country lies an ugly reminder of an unforgettable fire. Underneath Centralia, Pennsylvania, one of the mine shafts caught fire in 1962. With an unlimited amount of coal, enough to burn for a century, this town of about thousand was abandoned in 1982 due to health and safety concerns. Though home owners were allowed to return to their properties on October 29th, 2013, flames from beneath still bring smoke to the surface today, a sign that this nightmare is not over.
For our God is a consuming fire, Hebrews 12:29.
Two years after residents of Centralia were forced to leave, the Irish Rock Band U2 released The Unforgettable Fire. This album was inspired by an art exhibit about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Yet, the lyrics within these songs suggest another fire, the Holy Spirit. Although this is never mentioned by name, traces of biblical themes can be found. The Unforgettable Fire was the middle of three albums during U2’s Christian phase, book marked by Under A Blood Red Sky and The Joshua Tree.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope, Romans 15:13.
Fire represents life and judgment. From a biblical perspective, fire also refers to trials, periods where God uses extreme events to mold and fashion individuals like clay. While these periods of life can be painful, after you have endured these situations, perseverance and maturity are usually developed. Therefore, the next time you find yourself in a physical or spiritual fire, ask the Lord to burn off any impurities that persist so that on the other side God will make you whole.
by Jay Mankus