Candles in the wind

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Lourdes. One of my favourite memories of a Lourdes pilgrimage is a torch-light procession in the wind. Thousands of us were walking with candles lit in cardboard containers. The wind was causing havoc with the flames. My memory is of pilgrims grouping up again and again to rekindle their lights. The procession went forward candles ablaze ‘with a little help from your friends’ as they say.

Isn’t this a parable of Christian life? We move through the storms of life with a torch of faith which we do not carry alone. We travel as part of the Church and our fellow pilgrims are always at hand to help us rekindle our faith.

‘Look not on our sin,’ we pray to God at the Eucharist, ‘but on the faith of your Church’. As Christians our faith is both individual and corporate, something shared that can brush off on one another. In evangelism it brushes off on those around us.

What matters is to keep the fire of love for Christ kindled so that his light and warmth can be felt in the world. We best do this together as Christians, ready to admit it when faith flags, ready also on other occasions to speak words that encourage faith in our sisters and brothers.

For Christ, ‘the light of all people… shines in the darkness, and the darkness has no power to overcome his light’ (John 1.5). So be it. Amen.

John Twisleton

Broadcast by Fr John Twisleton (Rector of St Giles, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex) on Premier Christian Radio DAB Digital Radio

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