Christmas officially started with the lighting of the Christ candle on Christmas eve. This is a solemn occasion, full of awe and wonder for the church. Unless something unexpected happens…
Many years ago when I was singing in a Presbyterian choir, it was time to light the Christ candle on the Advent wreath. Usually the Advent wreath is placed on the altar center front. However, in this church it was suspended over the lectern. After all five candles were lit, a well-meaning volunteer maintenance helper noticed that the wreath was hanging slightly crooked. He decided to do a tiny adjustment. No one noticed him working on the ropes in the darkened balcony.
The choir was seated, behind the lectern, facing forward. Suddenly one of the candles on the outer rim lit the close-by rope. We had a blazing fire. As choir members, we had to act calmly for the entire congregation to reflect. Someone came to the front with an extinguisher and put out the fire. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember how the service ended. Probably we ended with quietly singing Silent Night, with lit candles, and no talking, as usual.
Peace on earth, Good will toward men. In this world of uncertainties, this is the message we Christians must reflect to the world. They are watching and will be led to the hope of peace and of directed light from above.
Christmas represents new hope for the world. Many of you have deep hurts that surface during this holiday season. May you see and reflect the light, the true light, Jesus the Promised One.
Blessings to you and to those who see the Light through your candle.