I’ve lately been studying the Christian lifestyle as defined by three words found in 1 Corinthians 13: Faith, Hope, and Love. I’ve come to see that Faith, Hope, and Love are progressive and close to linear in how they develop. Faith blooms Hope and these together vine out in a lifestyle of Love. Without the first two, the element of Love is simply something else – something more about myself than another.
In the study of Faith, Hope, and Love, I remembered (and began to re-read) a short book written by St. Augustine (ca. 400’s AD). His summary of the Christian life: There are three ways in which God should be worshiped and served: Faith, Hope and Love.
At the end of the first chapter, this sentence caught my attention:
If one is to have this wisdom, it is not enough to put an enchiridion [small book of teaching] in the hand. It is also necessary that a great zeal be kindled in the heart.
Kindling zeal… That concept fascinates me! I think I’m so fascinated because I’ve experienced moments and heard about it from others’ stories where you’ll have a ton of books on your shelf, a strong reading repertoire but yet still have a gap in your soul when it comes to a flame of zeal, a passion and excitement for the Way, Truth, and Life. (Speaking here not just of the person of Jesus, but the name of Jesus which is the identity we’re invited and saved into by Grace, through Faith, which of course leads to Hope and Love.)
My curiosity: how does zeal become kindled? How might you answer that?