This last Sunday was Candlemas which commemorates the dedication of Christ in the temple. To be honest this is not a feast that I have bothered with in the past but on Sunday our preacher made a comment that really caught my attention. It is the last celebration of light before we enter the painful journey of Lent next week he said. Lets celebrate the light before we take off the festive clothes of Christmas for the last time.
Traditionally at this festival, people brought all the candles they expected to use during the year to have them blessed. This really impressed me because it so happened that on Saturday I brought what I expect will be the year’s supply of light too. A whole bunch of LED lights to replace the last of our incandescent bulbs. This week as I go around replacing these I plan to reflect on the blessing of light, not just the blessing of artificial lights that enable us to see in the midst of dark places, but the blessing of Christ’s light which shines in all the dark places of our lives and of our world. And I will reflect too on the coming of Lent, in some ways a dark season, but in others a season of dawning light in which we expose the dark and hidden places that we previously have not allowed the light of Christ to penetrate.
Perhaps you would like to take time this week to bless the lights that will see you through the year – not just the physical lights but the spiritual lights too. What are the resources you expect will illumine your darkness and give you light? And to start your journey you may like to reflect on this beautiful Celtic prayer:
Christ as a light, illumine and guide us.
Christ as a shield, overshadow and cover us.
Christ be under us, Christ be over us.
Christ be beside us, on left and on right.
Christ be before us, Christ be behind us.
Christ be within us, Christ be without us.
Christ as a light, illumine and guide us