In the candlelight, we can find God

Pastor Greg
On Religion

It’s Time to Light the Holiday Candles

Alas, it’s December when darkness prevails.

But also the wonder of Biblical tales.

A miracle oil. A miracle birth.

A miracle visit of One sent to earth.

A season that’s marked by tall tapers of wax

that light up our world with the truth they unmask.

This season of Christmas and Hanukkah too

means candles for Christians and candles for Jews.

Some grace a menorah and some grace a wreath.

The glow from these candles expose cunning thieves

that lurk in the shadows and hide in the weeds.

One thief’s name is Envy. The other is Greed.

These holiday bandits are hungry as sin.

They steal and devour contentment within.

Like vandals they lure us. They’re really quite smart.

They pillage and plunder the peace in our hearts.

They kidnap our reason, insisting on new

while what we are using is fine and will do.

They hold our minds hostage to where we want more.

More money. More status. More stuff. So much more.

More big screens. More cell phones. More video games.

So much more technology. It is so lame.

These holiday villains just must be exposed.

Their criminal conduct’s the cause of our woes.

We’re weary. We’re listless. We’re often depressed.

We’re angry. We’re in debt. We’re way over-stressed.

And all the while famines and earthquakes and war

rob helpless young children of life like before.

No shelter. No supper. No sweet dreams at night.

No hope that injustices will be made right.

No parents. No siblings. No laughter. No time.

No chance for survival beyond eight or nine.

No lie. It’s the truth. We are victims you see

of devious Greed and his partner Envy.

They’re ruining Christmas and Hanukkah too.

But there’s a solution. Three things we can do.

The first is to thank God for all that we own.

The second’s to care for the needy we’ve known.

The third is to sponsor poor children abroad.

By sharing with orphans, we’re honoring God.

Compassion, World Vision and, yes, World Concern

allow us to reach out to kids who’ve been burned

by random disasters that leveled their lives

reducing their childhood to hunger and sighs.

It’s really amazing. By showing we care,

we’ll lock up those bandits that cause our despair.

We’ll find renewed freedom from unneeded stuff

and even the courage to shout out, “Enough!”

Enough of the shopping. Enough of the crowds.

Enough of more diddlies, for crying out loud.

Enough of just buying for family and friends.

Enough of this nonsense. It’s time it all ends.

So as we light candles and ready our homes,

let’s welcome the Presence that comes with shalom.

Let’s listen for what in our hearts we might hear.

In candlelit silence, we find God. He’s here.

Pastor Greg Asimakoupoulos is the head of the Mercer Island Covenant Church and a regular contributor to the Reporter.

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