“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine”
Candles are such an important part of Christmas Advent, we light them symbolically, as in The Advent Candle of Hope. We light them for comfort and decoration to bring their soft light to our homes, and there are times we light them of necessity (should our electricity go out). Candlelight is tied to our association with home, hope, comfort, safety, and wellbeing.
Most of all, candles carry the message of hope.
When I was a child I always looked forward to the Christmas Eve service, which in a Presbyterian church had the most ritual of any other service during the year. The late evening hours, the full choirs -three of them, and certain hymns and carols that were reserved for only this time of year, all lent a solemnity that was beautiful to see, and a rich feast for the soul.
But it was the end of the service, with the candle lighting, that was the best part.
We had held our small white candles in anticipation all through the service, and now, at its close, the first person had their candle lit. They used their candle to light that of their neighbor’s. All down each row of pews, moving along to the back of the church until every row, every person, was shining with flickering candles, the entire church filled with light, with song, and with hope.
Even as a child the message was deeply impressed:
We have a light, and corporately that light can fill the world with an invasion of light. We were all harbingers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whom we were celebrating at Christmas.
And suddenly Christmas became special, not for candy canes and lists of toys, but something that could only be outwardly expressed in symbol, though inwardly filling our souls with light and life, comfort and joy, peace and good will.
The Scripture meditation for today is Matthew 5:14-16
â€œYou are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.Â Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.Â In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
In our Advent devotions we open the time with this song, “Pass it On” which was written by Kurt Kaiser.
Let Your Light Shine Today
* feature photo of Advent candles by Rachel Tayse.