A while ago, I heard a song. It was Sanctus Real’s On Fire. It broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I’ve lived the life they sing out in the song.
Remember when you couldn’t wait
to show up early and find your place.
Cause you didn’t want to miss a thing.
And your heart was open and ready for change.
Oh, those were the days.
You were never afraid to sing,
never afraid to life your hands.
Didn’t care what people would think.
I remember what that was like. Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, we were there. We were there early. We got together before and after. We were a solid unit for Christ. We were a family. We worshiped together. We mourned together. If one of us was hurting, we all hurt together. We were a force for Christ that was not to be reckoned with. And it felt as if nothing and no one could drive us a part.
You were on fire,
and church was more than a place,
and people were more than faces.
and Jesus was more than a name.
We were on fire. We loved each other and Jesus. Church was more than a place. And Jesus was definitely more than a name. We were living for Him. We ministered to each other and strangers. We came from different places. We were a crazy range of ages from young teens to early twenties.
But our age differences and where we had come from didn’t matter. We loved each other and Jesus fiercely. Nothing could stand in our way.
Remember when you weren’t ashamed.
To tell your friends about your faith.
A time when you felt the pain
of just one lost soul that was slipping away.
Your heart was soft, you had radiant eyes,
but slowly the pressures and burdens of life
pulled you into the dark of night.
But when did you lose your sight?
We weren’t ashamed. We wore our faith proudly. We wanted to reach more, do more, BE MORE. We started our own church services. We shared our mistakes, our pain, our triumphs, our hearts.
We didn’t all look the same. We covered a range of everything, from preppy to emo. We were a band of misfits with our crazy hair and piercings and our crazy love of God. And those of us who would scare strangers on the street with our looks were the most softhearted.
We took the phrase “Freedom From Religion” to heart. We didn’t need a bunch of rules and regulations. We loved God and each other.
Oh, you were on fire,
you let life put out the flame.
Oh, isn’t that the truth? Mistakes were made by people we trusted, people who should have been supporting what we were doing. And suddenly we were lost. We fell apart and away from each other. This breach of trust drove us away from each other, and some of us even away from God.
Some of us are still friends. Some of us are simply Facebook friends. There are some of us I haven’t seen in over 10 years. And while I haven’t lost my faith, I haven’t felt like I did back then since. These days church is just a place, and it breaks my heart. And there are times, even all these years later, sitting in that place, when all that hurt and anger comes back as if it just happened yesterday.
But He’s still calling out for you
cause He wants to light your heart again.
And set it on fire
Turn your eyes, turn your eyes
and don’t forget what it was like
Set me on fire, set me on fire
I wanna hold God’s people close
wanna feel the power of Jesus’ name
I don’t know how to get back there. I don’t know what I’m looking for. I pray for that fire to fill me again. I pray for that fire to fill us all again.
Set me on fire