I'm like a Neanderthal when it comes to fire. I'm mesmerized by it. Now, I'm not saying I'm a pyromaniac. All you firefighters in the parish, don't give me the evil eye when you next see me. I'm just saying there is something so primeval and fascinating to me about a burning fire. Am I that crazy? I'm sure you all enjoy sitting in front of and staring at a fire in your fireplace. I know the Boy Scouts enjoy making fires--they did so at their Webelos Crossover Event (when Cub Scouts enter Boy Scouts) last week.
I don't think I'm in horrible company with this fascination with fire. Moses liked it too. See the burning bush from the first reading (cf. Exodus 3). This theophany ('appearance of God') had to be incredibly fascinating. Not only is God fire, which is intriguing in itself, he is fire that does not consume.
This is more than just a fake fireplace (I hate fake fireplaces by the way...I want to build my own fire!). This is something 'remarkable', as Moses himself commented.
God is fire. He is mesmerizing, appealing, and heartening. And he does not consume. There is nothing we lose when God comes more fully into our hearts. We only gain.
Firefighters should love this image of God. Think of a fire that does not destroy. What more could you want!