“Short Candles”

WORDS FROM W.W. December 7, 2011

Our church is splurging this year. We’re getting new candles for the Christmas Eve service! The personal kind that each person gets to light and hold as we close our gathering that night singing Christmas carols by candlelight.
There may be some who think that we’ve gone crazy with our free spirited spending. After all, we’re almost $5,000 behind in where our budget says our financial giving year-to-date should be! But…we went for it!
The reason for our carefree spending trend is that the candles we’ve been using…for the past 15 years…or maybe twenty…are getting to look more like cigarette butts than candles. We can now fit almost a thousand “candle butts” into the box that originally held 250.
We could have held out for a couple more years. After all, only a couple of people got their fingers burned last year! (That was a sarcastic remark, in case you missed it!)
The thing is I hadn’t noticed! It took someone else who had kind of a burnt smell rising from his fingertips to point out the fact that the candles had “miniaturized.”
When you don’t see something until Christmas Eve each year it’s easy to lose sight of what others see clearly.
It seems an appropriate statement for those of us who frequent church. We get entrenched in “what has always been” and have a hard time seeing over top of the deepening ruts. It’s like answering the question “When did the candle get short?” It didn’t suddenly happen. It gradually went from new to used to very used to useless.
In church we have an assortment of things that go from relevant to irrelevant, but it usually happens over time…and we frequently never notice.
And, sad as it is, there are a number of people in our churches who would rather be irrelevant and comfortable than relevant and challenged.
It may very well be that I’m have a few people show up on Christmas Eve and ask where the old candles are. If that’s the case I’ll look to see if they have burn marks on their fingers.

Explore posts in the same categories: Christianity, Faith, The Church, Uncategorized

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