Thought for the Week
Candlemass, the Scottish Quarter Day, falls on Wednesday February 2.
It’s 40 days after Christmas Day, the day we take down our crib. It’s also halfway to the spring equinox. On that day, the sun – if there is any – shines directly through my south-facing window. Light fills the house.
Along with St Brigid’s Day on February 1, it is an ancient Celtic festival of light. The light that shines in the darkness and will not be overcome.
On Candlemass Day, Christians process into church with lighted candles, which are blessed to represent Christ, the true Light of the World. We hold that Light.
An ancient writer said that Christians are like people ‘facing east in winter’. Our backs are cold in the wintry air, but our faces are warmed by the rising sun and the hope of the coming spring, summer and harvest. We are living through wintry times. I never thought to see our parliament so disgraced or Europe threatened once more with war. I hoped growing international prosperity would feed a hungry world; that together we could address climate change. Instead, lies, greed and hate spoil everything.
Our backs are cold. Yet our faces are warmed because we trust: Truth cannot be overpowered. Christ is the Rising Light which cannot be conquered. We hope. And transformed by hope, we live truly and, living in truth, we too become the Light of the World.
Reverend Canon Simon Mackenzie, Lochgilphead Scottish Episcopal Church.