I may be a romantic at heart, at least in some areas. One of those areas is my love of candles and soft light at Christmas. Though I shudder at the fire hazard it would have caused, I would love to have seen Martin Luther’s first Christmas tree with candles to represent the stars of the heavens, reminding us that Jesus came from heaven to be our Saviour. Today I am satisfied to gaze at the candles of our Advent wreath, each light twinkling a message of hope, peace, joy and love. And at the center sits the tall white candle, the Christ candle, that points us to Jesus.
Traditionally on Christmas Eve our service featured a time when everyone would light his or her candle from the Christ Candle. Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” When our gathering was small, we all came forward and lit our candle from the Advent wreath’s focal point. This was a beautiful way to say, “We want the Light of the World to light our lives by His presence.”
As the service grew in numbers, we changed the way we shared the light from the Christ Candle. Leaders of the Church would light their candles from the Christ Candle and they would walk down the isles, sharing that flame with the first person in the row, who would pass it to the next person and so forth until everyone’s candle was lit. This is a powerful symbol of the way the Gospel is shared from one person to the next. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world… In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14,16)
This Christmas we will not gather at the church building for Christmas Eve service. Instead, a special service will be telecast through our Facebook page and website. It will be simple, and the editing primitive, but it will be a chance to worship Jesus this holy Christmas Eve. And in the service there will be a chance for everyone watching to take their candles (we delivered over 200 candles earlier this month) and light them to symbolically say, “Jesus is the light of the world… and He is the light of my life!” May the light of His presence enter your home this Christmas, and may that light be seen in us at Christmas and throughout the year to come.
– Pastor Gary