Several years ago I was officiating at a wedding in our church. This was a fairly formal wedding and we were doing a Unity Candle service after the vows and ring exchange. At that point, the bride and groom lit the unity candle as prescribed and then proceeded to blow out their separate candles.
The problem was, they were standing just at the right angle, and blew just hard enough, that they blew out the unity candle at the same time. Fortunately, there were lighters on the table and they quickly relit the unity candle.
I believe it is possible for us to blow out our own marriage unity candle. Because marriage is an attraction of two opposite personalities, sparks tend to fly from the beginning. In a healthy relationship, we work through those difficulties. But we have all seen people stay too focused upon their own needs and ignore the needs of the one they love. That’s blowing out your own candle.
Fortunately, there’s always a source nearby where we can relight our candle. Keep it burning brightly!
Tags: light, marriage, wedding
The Gospel of John tells us that Nicodemus “came to Jesus by night” (John 3:2). Why do you suppose he came by night? Some reasons suggested have been:
- The Pharisee was embarrassed or ashamed that he, one of the ruling class, was curious about Jesus.
- It was cooler at night.
- There were fewer distractions at night.
- Evening was when work responsibilities were over.
We really don’t know the reason Nicodemus came to see Jesus by night, but John seemed to make a big deal out of that. When he later referred to Nicodemus he said, “he who came to Jesus by night,” as if that would identify him (Acts 7:50 & 19:39).
Whatever Nicodemus’s reason at the time, I think we can draw from the story that Nicodemus was living in darkness and came to see He wh0 was “the light of the world” (John 8:12).
Those of us who are in darkness today can surely see the light if we seek Jesus.
Tags: darkness, light, Nicodemus, night
A little boy was standing in his yard one sunny day when he noticed his shadow for the first time. “Mommy, Mommy,” he shouted, “what’s that dark thing?”
“Oh, that’s only your shadow, dear,” she answered.
“I’m scared of it, Mommy. I don’t ever want to see it again!” he said, tightly shutting his eyes.
Suddenly his mother had an idea. Turning his little body to face the other direction, she said, “Honey, open your eyes. See, the shadow’s gone.” “How’d it happen?” he asked happily.
“I turned you toward the sun,” she said. “When you keep your face to the sunshine, you can’t see the shadow.”
Your past is like a shadow, following you wherever you go. So, keep looking to the Light of the world (John 8:12) and you won’t be scared by your shadowy past.
Tags: light, past, shadow, sin
The other week Anita and I went down to the Fire Barn here in Waterloo to watch our grand-kids’ reaction to their first visit with Santa Claus. Raegan, just short of two years old, was not very cooperative. She refused to sit on his lap or have her picture taken with him. She would observe from a distance, but that was the limit.
Of course, Santa was not going to harm her in any way, but she must have thought that in her mind. By the time Christmas actually gets here she will have seen Santa in many other situations and might change her mind by then. Its what we don’t understand that puts fear in our hearts.
So it is with God. When we don’t understand His ways or purposes, we tend to fear trusting Him. We try to hide from Him our real lives. That’s why its important that we understand that Jesus is the Light of the World and came to enlighten us in the ways of God. Let Him turn the light on for you this Christmas.
Tags: Christmas, fear, light, Santa
I’ve done a lot of weddings over the years. The most memorable weddings are the ones where something goes wrong. I can remember one wedding that occurred in this building years ago. The couple had chosen a ring bearer that likely had a tinge of ADHD going on.
The wedding was proceeding according to plan, but that ring bearer was simply too bored to just stand there, so he wandered around behind me over to the bride’s side and began blowing out candles on the candelabra, one at a time. He wasn’t that tall, but apparently had a pretty good set of lungs. I was concentrating on what I was doing, and the bride’s maids didn’t want to interrupt the formality of the wedding, but the guests all saw what was happening and had a good chuckle.
Jesus told us to “let our light shine before men”. Although others may try to blow our light out, we must let it keep shining. How else will people see what burns within us? How is your light shining today?
Christmas Eve! These verses from the Christmas story come to mind: “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them” (Luke 2:8-9). We don’t know what time of day Jesus was born, but we do know the time the angel appeared to announce His birth: “at night”.
I think the significance of this is that we live in a dark, ungodly world. Jesus is the Light of the World clouded in darkness. The shepherds had no problem seeing the angel in the dark, so it must have been enlightened, as well.
When we’ve made room for Jesus, the whole world around us becomes enlightened because of the light that resides within us. Have an enlightened Christmas.
Tags: Christmas, darkness, light