Picture in your mind a Christmas Eve Service: the Sanctuary is darkened, the parishioners are solemnly singing, “Silent Night… Holy Night.” From a single Christ Candle, one individual lights their candle. This one candle, lit from the Christ Candle flickers brightly in the darkness. This one person reaches out to the next person’s outstretched hands holding their unlit candle and lights it from their fragile burning candle. (Some candles are harder than others to light.) And so the procession goes, from one to another, from one to another – one reaching out, and then after receiving the gift of Light, they turn to pass the Light on to the next person in darkness. As each new candle is lit; a new person’s face is illuminated.
This is much of what individual Christians do; they reach out to others in darkness and help to bring them into the Light. We Christians cannot make people take the Light; they must accept the Gift of Light as a free Gift from God that they did not deserve, earn, or merit.
The River of Light grows longer and longer as the Light is passed from one to another, from one to another; up one aisle and down another.
I am like one of the people sitting on one of the back rows. I am patiently waiting for the Light to reach me. I can see the Light. I can see the Light a comin,’ closer and closer. I long for the Light to reach me. I love and welcome the Light. I want the Light to be in my life. In great expectation I wait for the Light to reach me.
Though the Light is getting closer and closer, nearer and nearer, the Light is still out of reach! But the Light shines in the darkness, the Light shines on my face, the Light melts and warms my heart.
Though I haven’t received the Light, the Light is not yet in my hands, the Light from others reflects and shines off of my face.
Though I don’t yet hold the Light, the Light from the reflection enables me to brighten other people’s lives, which are still in darkness. By the Grace of God, when the Light reaches me; I pray to turn, to reach out, and to pass this Light on. There are many people in this world – living in darkness. We need to seek them out and reach out to them with the “Candles of Love” which burn brightly in our hearts. We need to reach out to those living in darkness and help them to receive this holy gift, this “Light of Love.”