Sunday is Candlemas.
“Candle what?” you might say.
Candlemas is all about promise and hope and light, things we desperately need in the dark, cold, damp days of winter and Graeme Hay will be sharing with us his thoughts about Candlemas in our meeting at 10:30am on Sunday.
So, what is Candlemas? I’ll let Malcum Guite explain:
Though the 12 days of Christmas ended at Twelfth Night and Epiphany, there is another sense in which this season, in which we reflect on the great mystery of God in Christ as an infant, continues until February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.
This feast came to be called by the shorter and more beautiful name of Candlemas because the day it celebrates, recorded in Luke 2:22-40, is the day the old man Simeon took the baby in his arms and recognised him as ‘A Light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.’ It became the custom of the church to light a central candle and bring it to the altar to represent the Christ-light, and also on the occasion of this feast to bless all the ‘lights’ or candles in the church, praying that all who saw that outward and visible light would remember also and be blessed by the inner light of Christ ‘who lightens everyone who comes into the world.’
It had always been prophesied that God would one day come into the Temple that human beings had built for him, though Solomon, who built the first temple had said ‘even the Heavens are too small to hold you much less this temple I have built’. Candlemas is the day we realise that eternity can come into time and touch us in the form of a tiny child, that God appears at last in His Temple, not as a transcendent overlord, but as a vulnerable pilgrim, coming in Love to walk the road of life alongside us.
As this is the first Sunday of the month we will be having Taize style worship and the meeting will be followed by a bring and share lunch.