April 2012 Letter

Easter Light, Easter Fire

 

Both of the great Christian festivals, Easter and Christmas, are celebrations of the light of Christ come into the world, but there is a difference.  At Christmas we picture a candle flame flickering in the darkness; God as a helpless baby; a seed of light and love planted in secret. 

 

Easter, too, has its candle – many churches have a special large candle known as the ‘Paschal’ or ‘Easter’ candle, which is lit at every service between Easter and Pentecost, and after that, at all baptisms and often at funerals.  But the real symbol of Easter is the fire from which that candle was traditionally lit.  Before dawn on Easter Day, a new fire would be lit, blazing up in the darkness, perhaps in a brazier outside the church.  The Easter candle was lit from the flames, then   carried into church and used to light all the rest.  As dawn broke outside, the church inside would break into light, bells would be rung and cymbals clashed – no ‘Silent Night’ about this celebration!

 

The fire of Easter says that God loves us, quite literally, with passion – and that our response can be passionate too.  Life is not meant to be dull for the followers of Jesus – if it is, then perhaps we are doing it wrong!  If we truly believe that our lives are part of the story that God is telling in the world, then it changes everything; it sets the everyday events of our lives on fire with significance.   Like the way that Jesus took, the path goes through hard places, but at the end of it is the blaze of resurrection.  The Easter fire says that at any moment, the dry tinder of our lives may catch aflame. 

 

We all stand at different points in our journey, but ‘without God there is nothing to hope for; with God there is nothing to fear’.  What new fires might God be calling us to light?

 

Have a very blessed Easter.

 

Rev’d Karen Spray      church@revdkaren.org.uk    01392 877400

 


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