We spent Christmas Eve at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Blacksburg, Virginia, the church Mark’s sister Kathy and her family attend. As we entered, we were given electric candles. Kathy explained that the town’s fire marshal requires electric candles for the congregation; the candles on the altar were oil candles.

As we sat down in the pew and placed our candles in the hymnal rack, Sean’s candle fluttered to life. He turned the collar and it went out, only to flicker back on a moment later. He adjusted it again; it stayed dark for a moment, and then came back on. After several attempts at adjustment, he finally took off the collar, disconnecting the candle, until the point in the service we were all asked to light them and sing “Silent Night.”

We chuckled about it at the time, but I’ve been thinking about that candle a great deal as the twelve days of Christmas tick by. Today, Epiphany Sunday, we celebrate the arrival of the Magi and the revelation of “Love’s pure Light” to the Gentiles. God sent the Light to save us all, but how many of us embrace Him daily? How often do we turn away from the Lord or move Him aside until a designated, or perhaps even convenient, time?

We are the children of the Light; we should never turn it off or push it away. We should be defiant and determined in our blazing and in our desire to drive away the darkness. We should focus on the Lord each and every day, and strive to live so fully in His Light that it shines through us in everything that we do and say. When we are illuminated by His Light, we become candles to guide others to the truth, beauty, and grace of life in Christ.

As we consider our resolutions for the New Year (the ones that haven’t already fallen by the wayside), let us resolve to work to ensure that His Light beams through us, allowing our light, as Jesus commanded, to shine before others, that they may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in Heaven.

“For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

          Luke 2:30-32