Carrying the Candles

Last week at church, the candle of hope and the candle of expectation for the advent wreath were brought to the altar by two young ladies of our congregation. I have watched these girls grow from almost infancy, I see them weekly in the seats with their families. On this occasion though they were transformed into holiness, gently dancing in bright blue dresses up the center aisle to the sounds of the praise team singing “King of Heaven Come Down,” by Paul Balochi. They floated, they glided, I felt them carrying my hope,my expectation. This breathtaking arrangement was created by our pastor’s wife, an artist with incredible musical talent. Her vision to make the arrival of the candle into something we would remember, something we would feel, what a gift. Plum and I were playing on the floor as usual, our bits of Lego already in action when the music started. As the girls began, Plum got back up on his chair and was mesmerized. Tears trailed down my cheeks, my gratitude tokens to all who stopped us in our rustling, playing, thinking, ruminating and reminded us about hope.

This week, a member of our congregation closer to my age wore a blue dress and bravely danced before us all. She carried the candle of love. How many of us would volunteer for this? To wear something that clings a bit, flows a lot, drawing all eyes to ourselves, not a quick trip to the altar but gliding, lifting, swaying, stepping back and forward, slowly reaching our goal to place the candle in the wreath? My friend next to me wept. The holiness of women carrying these candles, offering themselves up to all of us in that we might experience the true meaning of each is just beyond any sermon I might hear. I spoke with the “love candle” carrier after the service, she said it was way out of her comfort zone. Isn’t carrying love to all exactly that? She does this daily, overseeing several ministries that reach the outer edges of our membership. She shows love every day, she helps us all do so in tangible ways. How appropriate that she carried that candle.

It would have been easy to just walk the candles up or even have them already at the altar, ready to light. It would have even been amazing to have the same young women bring them up each week. But how much stronger is the message, how much deeper is the lesson, to have our hope and our love carried in such a way? Hope and Expectation from our children, Love from one who has lived a little more. I am greatly anticipating next week, when Joy arrives.   The advent candles have never meant so much to me, ever. Well done, ladies. You have my attention.  Anxious for the arrival, reflecting on the meaning, longing for the coming.  You have transformed a rite, captured the holiness of the season with a dance, with a song. My soul hears, sees. Thank you.

 

King of Heaven, come down
King of Heaven, come now
Let Your glory reign
Shining like the day
King of Heaven, come
King of Heaven, rise up
Who can stand against us?
You are strong to save
In Your mighty name
King of Heaven, come

(Paul Baloche)

2 thoughts on “Carrying the Candles

  1. Raysha

    I think this is one of my favorite posts that you’ve ever written – that dancer is one of my very favorite people and her dance has made this Advent season so special.

    Like

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