Candlemas … again

The sight of snowdrops (a.k.a. Candlemas Bells) reminds us that we are back at Candlemas again. While Candlemas doesn’t feature a great deal in the calendar of the Reformed churches, I do feel that it has a value. For this is the traditional end to the Christmas season (which includes Epiphany – remembering the late arrival of the Magi). It’s a time to move from looking back at the festivities surrounding the birth of Jesus to looking forward to the celebration of Easter and the joy of the resurrection.

We do need, every now and then, to shift our sights and look ahead to what might be. In the churches of the North Warwickshire Pastorate we are beginning to look ahead with a focus on growth – a very suitable theme as we welcome Spring!

But we’re not only looking for numerical growth in our congregations, we are looking for spiritual growth. That is we want to go deeper into prayer, deeper into faith and deeper into God’s presence in our lives. We do this in the hope that it will also grow our service to the communities in which we are located.

We already open our doors to welcome people through the week in warm spaces, in knitting prayer shawls, in pop-up cafés, in nurseries and just for a moment’s peace and refreshment on market days. But we would like to make more of an impact, and grow the Kingdom of God. And as we lift our sights, we will see new opportunities.

Candlemas is the time when traditionally candles would be blessed, candles from our homes to be lit when danger or anxiety threatened. We should never underestimate the power we have to shed a little light in the darkness, just by shifting our sights and looking to the hope that God offers we can be beacons of light. That hope draws us on, into God’s presence and into God’s service.

May your light shine!