One of my favorite events of the year happened on Saturday night. (And yes, it was live.) My family and I attended the Christmas Eve service at our church. The highlight of the service happened at the end when we sang Holy Night. But the magic of the moment was sparked before we sang. Literally.
The best part of the service began when the lights in the sanctuary were turned off and the only light in the church came from the candles on the altar.
The pastor then picked up a candle and lit it with the flame from the center candle of the advent wreath. Then, the ushers lit their candles with the flame from the pastor’s candle.
Once the ushers’ candles were lit, (and I heard Usher singing ‘ Let it burn… ‘ in my head) they proceeded down the center aisle of the church. As the ushers passed through the church, the people closest to the aisle in each pew lit their candles with the passing flame. The light was then passed down each aisle, person to person, until everyone in the congregation was holding a lit candle.
Then we sang the soft and sweet carol Silent Night, by candlelight. The final verse was sung without the organ, acapella style. (Or is that the term they use to describe the Galapagos Islands? I always forget.) The result is a powerful and touching experience that is the pinnacle of my Christmas celebration.
The great reminder in this tradition goes beyond the birth of Jesus and the no-crying he made. It goes beyond the fact that the cattle were lowing. Which I assume means they were having a limbo contest. Which is a rude thing to do with a sleeping baby around.
The great reminder during the candlelight service is to share your light with others.
You have gifts that make the world better. It is in your kindness, your positivity, and your energy. Your light is the goodness you share with those around you. It shines in your smile, your laugh, your attitude, your determination, your resilience and your creativity. By sharing, your gifts become gifts to those around you. They inspire and comfort. They remind us of the powerful positive impact we can have on each other. And at the end of our days, that’s the only thing that matters.
Share your light with as many people as you can. Just as a flame passed from candle to candle can light up a room, when you pass your gifts you can transform the world around you. Your light has the power to positively impact your family, friends, coworkers, teammates and neighbors. But your light can also be passed down from generation to generation, far into the future, influencing people you will never meet. You don’t have to be rich or famous. You just need to pass your light along to one person at a time. Just like we do on Christmas Eve.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.