Advent Devotion: Candles Remind Us of Christ’s Light

Post a Comment » Written on December 12th, 2003     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (December 12, 2003)  – Covenant Communications is publishing  several Advent devotionals from church newsletters this month. Here is  one written by Herbert Hedstrom, pastor of the Evangelical Covenant  Church of Elgin, Illinois.

While we were cleaning out the house after my father died, we discovered  in the basement a box full of the clip-on candleholders that long ago  had been used in my mother’s childhood home to light the Christmas tree.  Mom had told us of the ritual surrounding those candles: tip toeing into  the dark parlor after Christmas Eve dinner and watching her father  slowly and carefully light the candles until the room was bathed in their flickering light. Electric tree lights are certainly safer and  more convenient, and probably brighter. But I still feel that I’ve  missed something wonderful, not seeing those beautiful candles on  Christmas Eve.

Christmas candles are a symbol of what the Evangelist John tells us:  “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome  it.” The baby Jesus could easily have been snuffed out by Herod the  Great. The adult Jesus was snuffed out with the approval of Herod’s son.  In a world full of dark, shadowy and dangerous powers, the message of light and hope symbolized by those flickering candles on my mother’s  childhood Christmas tree seems so small, so dim. The message of  Christmas is easily eclipsed by our annual consumerist orgy and by the  harsh news from Iraq and Afghanistan.

And yet the light still shines. The light that truly brings hope and joy  does not come from the shining stars of the entertainment industry nor  from exploding ordinance. Instead, what was true when Paul wrote it  nearly 2,000 years ago is still true: “God chose what is foolish in the  world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that  are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might  boast in the presence of God.”

Grace and Peace.

To read devotionals posted earlier, visit the following:

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