Welcome to Heart of the Matter Radio/Podcast for the New Year. Cynthia shared a story about the origin of the Great London Fire to help us think about the legacy we are leaving.

Listen here:

The sun had set, and darkness engulfed the 350,000 London residents. Shopkeepers closed their doors and prepared for bed. The king’s baker, Thomas Farrinor, who lived in Pudding Lane, stopped baking and doused his fire. However, he failed to put it out. After midnight on Sept 2, 1666, a spark escaped the oven and lit kindling nearby. Flames soon consumed the house, but Farrinor and his family escaped out a second-story window.

The city had no firefighters and was experiencing a drought, so the blaze licked up closely packed wooden houses nearby. Neighbors lined up to throw buckets of water on the fire, and churches rang their bells to warn sleeping residents. The fire headed toward warehouses on Thames Street filled with tallow, oil, spirits, and coal. The buildings exploded into flame. Aided by a strong wind, the fire burned out of control, and people could see the flames 30 miles away.

People eventually gave up fighting the fire and rushed to save their families and possessions. The fire raged until Sept 6 and destroyed 13, 000 homes and 38 churches, including St Paul’s cathedral.

Mr. Farrinor and his family survived. Can you imagine how he felt? His oversight caused a huge disaster. People still associate his name with the Great Fire of London. What a sad legacy.

We live in troubled times, yet God placed us in this time for a reason. What does he want us to accomplish in in the middle of this brokenness.

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.


Dear Father, as we stand at the threshold of 2024, we thank you for the gift of life and our eternal hope. Fill our hearts with praise for our blessings. May we determine to think less of ourselves and seek to know you more. Guide our steps so we may live worthy of your lovingkindness.

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