Monday, October 22, 2007

The light of Christ

One of the themes of our Laity Sunday was the idea that we are called to be the Light of Christ to each other. To visually demonstrate that concept, I put a votive candle on the altar for each participant in the worship service that morning -- 27 of them. I asked each participant to answer the question, "Who in the church is the light of Christ for you?" We then asked that person to light the candle for the participant during the service.

At first I thought it was kind of a cool idea, but as I continued to think of it, I thought it might be too complicated, that it could be distracting during the service, and that it might not be worth the trouble. But, as we went along, and got closer to the service, the concept stayed in my mind. I felt compelled to do it. So we did.

I learned a few things from this effort.

  • There is great joy in deciding who will light your candle. People thought seriously about this, and picked people I didn't expect them to.
  • There is even greater joy in being asked to light someone's candle. A dear friend of mine asked me to light her candle. What great grace there is in being told by someone that in some way you have shown them the light of Christ. One of the younger youth in our church preached part of the sermon that day. She is the daughter of our friends, and she asked Steve to light her candle.
  • There is great grace in asking someone to light a candle. A few of the participants asked me to go to the candlelighter and ask them to do the lighting. That was a fun thing to do. One person, who is new in the church, said, "I don't have anyone...but I would really like Jim to do it." Jim is an older gentleman in our church who serves like Christ. I had the great grace of being able to ask him to light the candle for this person. He immediately said yes. One of the younger people involved in the service asked me to see if her Sunday school teacher would do it. It was wonderful to ask her, and wonderful to hear her response.
  • How wonderful it was to be standing up front, leading worship, and watching my husband and friends come forth and light a candle for me.
  • What great grace was found in walking up front and lighting someone else's candle.

So, it was definitely worth the trouble to organize this project. I was able to watch candles being lit, and I was able to watch lights come on inside people when they realized that something they had done had shown someone else Christ. How could I not do it?



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