After reading this passage, I can’t help but think about Easter, about a candle, in particular. Most churches have a big candle with its own stand hanging out somewhere in the chancel. It is often called the Christ candle and no one seems completely sure about when to light it. This candle is actually called the paschal candle. It is meant to be lit during the Easter Vigil and remain lit during the entire seven-week season of Easter.
During the vigil, this candle is where worship begins. Around a bonfire, it is lit for the first time each year and then the congregation follows it into a dark sanctuary. Underneath its glow, worshippers listen to stories from scripture, starting from creation through the exodus, to kings and prophets. It symbolizes God’s leading among us, our very own cloud by day and fire by night.
During the vigil, each person is given their own candle and all light is supposed to come from the paschal candle, just as our hope comes from that first light born in the darkness of the empty tomb.
God of Light, show us the way to new life. Amen. — EP