LIGHT AND LIFE TO ALL HE BRINGS*
Light the Prophecy, Bethlehem, Shepherd and Angel Candles.
John 1:1-5, 14-18 (NRSV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
Light the Christ Candle.
What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. (vs. 3b-4)
Jesus has come! God has come to dwell with us, born into our world as a tiny, fragile human baby. Just like all of us, Jesus was an infant who needed to be nurtured, protected, cared for and tended by his parents. Yes, one day Jesus would teach, serve, heal, and love in incredible ways. But he began as a helpless infant, dependent on his parents to care for him.
It is in this tiny, helpless baby that we receive new life- and new light.
A few weeks ago I was struck by a thought that Rob Bell shared on his podcast, something he had heard from a friend. He said that each of us holds a sacred light, a divine flame within. Like a candle on a birthday cake, this flame must be sheltered and protected in order to burn brightly. When we walk in with a birthday cake, we often cup our hand near the lighted candles to keep the moving air from extinguishing them. In the same way, we are wise to be protective and careful with our divine flames.
As I write this meditation for Christmas, I am thinking about that divine flame, and the image that comes to me is that “the life was the light of all people.” Jesus, the holy infant, is the light of all people. We must tend and protect this divine light within, much as we would a newborn baby.
Imagine… Holding our sacred light as we would lovingly and tenderly hold a tiny infant, gazing at it with wonder. Caring for our sacred light by nourishing it with all good things, such as the sustenance of scripture, prayer, meditation, worship, study. Ensuring our divine flame has a conducive setting for peaceful rest- quiet, soft music, stillness, nature. Maintaining boundaries that are best for safekeeping our holy light, away from harmful situations or people who diminish the brightness of our flame. Practicing healthy habits to keep our divine flame burning clearly.
We will continue to mature in faith and grace. We will continue to grow as Jesus did- and learn to teach, serve, heal, and love in incredible ways. But we must maintain the deep nurturing of this new flame, this tender spirit within us. We must continue to regard our inner, holy light as a being of great worth and sacredness.
Because it is. Our holy light is this newborn baby, child of God, who has come to dwell within us.
Prayer: Be born in us anew today, Jesus. Fill our souls with your hope, love, joy and peace. May we always remain mindful of your wondrous gift, hold you with incredulous gratitude, and freely abandon ourselves into your great love. Amen.
*lyrics from “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” by Felix Mendelssohn
Happy holidays, dear readers. ❤