This Christmas Eve we will once again invite people at Seneca Creek to participate in a wonderful, symbolic candle-lighting ceremony. It’s a multi-sensory experience that’s sure to delight young and old. And it points toward a bigger question.
Will you light a candle the rest of the year?
The Christmas Eve candle lighting is symbolic of the Light of the World that appeared in the manger and began to spread throughout the world. We only participate in this tradition once a year. But every day we have a chance to participate in lighting a candle.
I’m talking about the hope that is woven into the gospel message. The hope that God has neither abandoned or forgotten this planet. The hope that despite how dark things might seem in our world, or in our individual lives, there is a brighter day on the horizon. The hope that the Spirit of God is active and powerful in our lives and world. And the story of Christmas is the undeniable, mic-dropping demonstration of that incredible hope!
So when you’re faced with one more frustrating encounter; when you’re faced with yet another irritating human; when you’re staring at an obstacle that grows bigger and bigger; when you’re confronted with still more corruption, deception, and injustice from those in power, you have a choice.
There’s a wise old saying: You can either curse the darkness, or you can light a candle.
I wish it weren’t so, but I hear lots of cursing. Not just the ordinary profanity, but the giving-in-to-darkness kind. The kind that feels overwhelmed by the injustice and evil around us. The kind that chooses cursing instead of candle-lighting.
Christmas is the reminder that God has not only lit HIS candle of hope in our world, he has handed over the candle-business to his church. To you. To me. And he’s said, “You are the light of the world… Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14, 16)
Cursing or candles. What will you choose?
P.S. If you’re in the Montgomery County area this Christmas Eve, please join us for a memorable gathering filled with music, reflection, celebration, and the powerful story of Emmanuel. Choose from one of four start times: 1:00, 2:30, 4:00, or 5:30. Children’s ministry up to age 5 is available at the first three times.