Hello, it’s been a little while.
The words just haven’t been finding me lately, or maybe I haven’t been finding them. Regardless, the blog’s been a bit quiet this week.
Today’s been a quiet kind of day, with a soft, corduroy gray sky and rain-slick streets and sidewalks.
I spent the evening with books and Felicity DVDs. The quiet has been nice. I also reread a few sections of Mudhouse Sabbath. I especially enjoyed rereading the section about candles.
“There seems to be no surer way to sacralize time or space than lighting a candle, and no quieter quiet than the silence of candlelight,” writes author Lauren Winner.
It’s true. Earlier today, I was talking with a friend about Christmas traditions, and I spoke about the candlelight Christmas Eve service my family attends. Thinking about the conversation now, I realize just how beautiful and meaningful that tradition is. The way the church looks bathed in soft light, the way I feel standing close to loved ones, carefully passing the light and singing Silent Night. In the last year, I’ve grown so much in my walk. I think this year that service is going to mean so much more … because even thinking about it now, I’m filled with peace and awe and thankfulness … and love.
Lauren Winner also talks about Advent wreaths. “We make Advent wreaths out of seasonal greens and four candles. Each week we light one more candle, edging closer out of the darkness of unredemption and toward the light of Jesus’ coming.”
(Doesn’t she have such a beautiful way of saying things?)
And then a bit later she writes: “Griff, my beau, made an Advent wreath this year out of greens he plucked from a friend’s yard. We put the wreath on his kitchen table and lit the candles before dinner, the wreath both making a candlelit date out of an ordinary evening meal and helping us live into a liturgical season so easily overshadowed by Santa Claus lists and shopping trips and cookie exchanges.”
I’ve decided that I’d like to have an Advent wreath this year. Its soft light will be a gentle reminder of the amazing life-changing truth of the season.
I also really love the way Lauren Winner closes the chapter on candles:
“Even when I am just lighting two thin tapers over dinner, I like to think about the light of Christ rectifying the sin by which came death to the world. The light of Christ, I sometimes say to myself. Thanks be to God.”
I lit a few of my autumn candles tonight, and as I watched their flames dance, I put my heart around those words. The light of Christ. Thanks be to God.