Thought for the Week
Monday 30th January
This week, on February 2nd, many Christians around the world will celebrate Candlemas. Candles, Christmas decorations and Nativity Scenes are taken down and blessed at this event which is a celebration of the time when Jesus’ mother, Mary, presented him to God at the Temple in Jerusalem, 40 days after his birth – a Jewish tradition at that time for the mother of a baby.
According to Luke’s gospel (Luke 2:32), a Jewish man named Simeon held baby Jesus in his arms and announced that he would be ‘a light for the Gentiles’.
Personally, I find candlelight to be such a very special kind of light, and I love the smell of the wax, as well as the flickering flame. My favourite service this Christmas, was the Christingle in our village church. The building was warm, candlelit, and full of families - all delighted to be there in person and choosing to include ‘church’, and Jesus as the light of the world, as part of their Christmas experience.
I found it ‘wonder-full’ for many reasons… for example, because I was helping I had time to watch people’s reactions and interactions; to see the way the candlelight lit up faces; to note the awe and wonder in the hush and anticipation of receiving each Christingle, to smell the scent of the oranges and to hear and appreciate the range of voices singing the tunes I know and love.
Listening to music and singing well-known hymns and songs is something I find deeply uplifting. I know it is good for my physical, mental and spiritual health, just as being in nature, and seeing the snowdrops pushing up through the grass, and filling my senses with sight, scents and touch are also ways that I thrive spiritually.
I wonder what ‘tops you up’ spiritually?
And what helps you thrive spiritually?
While you think about it for a few minutes, perhaps you could enjoy one of these recordings of the UK Blessing. On Friday last week, it was sung by young people opening the CEFEL Leadership Conference. It was truly wonder-full! I hope you enjoy it. I know I will!
The UK Blessing – Sung by Adults – click here
The UK Blessing – Sung by Children – click here