Tongues of Fire
When the family of Aeneas is contemplating what to do after the Greeks have overthrown the city of Troy, a great omen occurs when a flame appears over the head of Aeneas’ son Iulus. The flame is a portent that indicates the necessity for Aeneas and his father to flee the city, leaving their home and all their belongings to be ransacked and burnt. This of course reminds us of the story of Pentecost in Acts 2. The ascended Messiah sends the Spirit of the Father upon his disciples while they are praying in the upper room. But not only is the omen the same, the meaning is the same: leave the city. When the apostles are filled with the Spirit they speak in the tongues of the nations of the world that are gathered together in Jerusalem, and this is only the begining of the grand exportation of the Kingdom to the world. Of course it all starts in Jerusalem, but by the end of Acts Paul is in Rome and the disciples have scattered to the four corners of the earth. And Jesus had warned His disciples of the signs to look for: “When you see the abomination of desolation… let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…” The judgment of God is coming upon the Jewish nation for rejecting the Messiah. But the portent is not only for flight, it is also a sign of a promised new city. Aeneas flees Troy in search of a new Troy, a new home, an eternal city. Likewise Christians fled Jerusalem and the wrath that God had promised it, in search of a new city, a New Jerusalem, an eternal and heavenly city. Of course Aeneas only founded Rome, and the apostles were the founders of a far greater city, the City of God which far supasses all that Virgil may have dreamed of.