I am so enjoying lighting candles in this season of Advent. Candles speak to me of light and hope and life. They are so calming!
So I went to light a candle this morning, and I had run out of matches. That seems like a small thing, but the thing was it had enormous emotional overtones too. For about 30 years ago, my late husband Colin bought a batch of boxes of matches. In his usual exuberant way, he bought 30 boxes at a time. And we have been using these boxes of Cook’s matches over all this time. But today, when I went to look, the last one has gone, and I can’t find any more. It is another link with him that is gone.
December is such a poignant month. So many symbols of hope and love, families coming together, concerts and nativity plays, and the reverence and joy of Christmas services, and the celebration of the birth of our Lord.
Yet at the same time, you miss the people who aren’t there, you think of old memories, you feel an ache of what is missing. The shadow side of it all, that is often unspoken.
I am going to have to go out and buy new matches. I might shed a few tears, for life seems to be moving on, and I have no choice but to go with it. A little thing in the universal scheme of things, but such incidents affect so many bereaved people. And so we listen to each other’s stories, and weep together, even in the unlikeliest of places.
Gracious God, You are our Creator, and You have made this universe and planet to be good and beautiful. Yet there is a season for all things, and along with enjoying what is lovely, we are saddened by death and loss. Lord Jesus, be our light and shine in the darkness. Little things can have such resonance. We feel the pain, but know that life cannot stand still. Hope spirit, breath new life and energy into us, comfort us, and give us courage to move on, for Jesus sake, Amen.