It Only Takes a Spark
By Rick Wattman, Director of Communications and Publications
One of my favorite holiday memories is of Christmas Eve at the church where my dad was pastor. His duties of leading the community celebration colored our family festivities–meaning the church was always a big part of our Christmas.
Near the end of the service, after we had sung the familiar carols and heard the Christmas story, the lights would go down in the sanctuary. The candles of the advent wreath provided only a small pool of light, which did little to overcome the darkness where we sat.
My dad invited us to reflect on the hopelessness of being lost in a world without any light to guide us. Then he carefully lit a small taper from the Christ candle. He brought this flame down from the platform and passed it to two ushers, who each lit their candles from his. In turn, we all waited for their light to reach our row, and to be passed carefully from person to person, all the way to the end. Even in our eagerness, we were wary not to drip wax, or to lean over the flame and thereby singe our hair, or accidentally burn our bulletins—or our neighbors.
As the wave of warm light moved through the church, my father would invite us to look up and see how fully our many shared lights had completely illuminated the building. He would remind us that in the same way, the light of Christ can be passed from life to life. It is only by sharing it with one another that any of us receive its blessing. Then we would lift our lights, and together sing “Joy to the World, the Lord is come.” I’m sure my dad did not originate this. But he helped me to realize the value and power of sharing the Light of Life, and that a lot of little lights can brighten the whole world.
You are the light of the world…. [L]et your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:14-16