Saturday, March 18, 2023
Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner
Lenten Devotional by Macy Kennedy
Sabbath – Candle Lighting
“There seems to be no surer way to sacralize time or space than lighting a candle, and no quieter quiet than the silence of candlelight.” – Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner
In Jewish tradition, Shabbat (or Sabbath), is welcomed into a home by the lighting of two candles. After the candles are lit, a person would beckon the light toward themselves with their hands. This meditatively draws in the light and stillness of Sabbath. Christian homes are not traditionally candle-filled for the purpose of our faith, but our communal home, the Church, has candles for many parts of liturgy. We light Advent wreaths, the Paschal candle, and candles on our altar. Lauren Winner explains that candlelight helps us see clearly in the darkness. This aligns with the metaphor of Jesus being the light of the world. Jesus is the light in our darkness.
Candle lighting as a practice of Sabbath creates a moment of presence. It sets aside a moment for God, a moment of peace, silence, and stillness. Light in the darkness symbolizes rest in our busy lives. When you light a candle, reflect on “the light of Christ rectifying sin” (Winner). Some candle lighting practices you can try are lighting a candle at the beginning of a meal, on Sunday after church, during devotional time, by your bedside, at the time of sunset, or during prayer. Light your candle with intention, meditating on Christ’s light in the world.
You can try reflecting on these scriptures as you light:
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12)
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)
For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. (Psalm 18:28)
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Cor. 1:6)
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