Tag Archives: candle

Sunday School Songs

There’s a lot of theology packed into the old Sunday School songs I used to sing.

“Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light, Like a little candle burning in the night; In this world of darkness, so we must shine; You in your small corner and I in mine.”

That describes exactly what yesterday’s blog post was about.

Karl Barth, the famous Swiss Reformed theologian, was at Rockefeller Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago during his lecture tour of the US in 1962. After his lecture, during the Q and A time, a student asked Barth if he could summarize his whole life’s work in theology in a sentence. Barth allegedly said something like “Yes, I can. In the words of a song I learned at my mother’s knee: ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.'” (www.patheos.com>2013/01)

Can anybody reading this think of any other children’s Christian songs that contain sound theology?

My Prayer

Lord, may I never disregard the simple in my quest to know You better. Amen.

This post is part of SoCS as well as JustJoJan

Lockdown Day 22 Something Big

The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra have collaborated to bring music to uplift our spirits and as a tribute to our amazing health workers. Each artist recorded his part at home and the techies stitched it together to make this piece.

Sometimes we think we need to do something big for God. That is not true. We do what we can with the talents God has given us, even if it’s only something small.

I have been trying to sew masks for Alex, in between grandparenting, other sewing and blogging. I am one of sixty seven ladies sewing masks to distribute with food parcels to poor people in Alex. Some ladies make batches of a hundred at a time. I’ve only just limped to twenty over two weeks. Nevertheless, I am part of something bigger than myself and my efforts. Just like the techies stitched together individual artist contributions to the music above, God is able to stitch together every little act of kindness, every little word of encouragement, every small act in his name to make an amazing symphony that can make a difference to the world.

We used to sing a lovely little song in Sunday School.

Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light, Like a little candle burning in the night. In this world of darkness, so let us shine, You in your small corner and I in mine.

Image by 41330 from Pixabay

Hebrews 13:16 reads:

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Let us all shine in our little corner even if we can’t light the whole room.

Load shedding

South Africa is undergoing load shedding at the moment. That means that for four hours at a time, electricity is switched off in a certain area. It is staggered so that yesterday it was 4 pm to 8 pm and today it is 8 am to 12.30 pm. Sitting in the dark with candles and torch light got me to thinking about the references to darkness and light in the bible. They didn’t have electricity in those days.

The obvious ones came to mind. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path,” Psalm 119:105

or “Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick….” (Math 5:15 KJV)    Of course the NIV translates a bushel as a bowl. Last night I lit a candle just so we could see what we were eating for dinner. I can’t imagine putting it under a bowl or tall vase.

 

But the verses my mind lingered on are from John 1.

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it……..

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own and his own did not receive him.” (John 1:4-5 and 9-11 NIV)

What particularly struck me was the contrast between the darkness and the world. The darkness had to submit to the light. It had no choice.  However the true light came to his own and his own did not receive him. They had a choice. They could accept him or reject him.

The choice is still there today. We can accept the Light of the World or reject him. Verse 12 tells us “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…born of God.”

You are the Light of the World

Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl but on a stand, and it gives light to all the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

hong-kong-698558__180

I got to thinking about light and the different types of light that we could be.

There is UV light. It can act as a disinfectant and is used widely in medicine.

uv-light-in-medical-device(Photo : Creative Commons/Paul Ashley)

These are the people who see the corruption in the world and fight for the right. Like William Wilberforce who spent his life campaigning against slavery. They are the people who motivate others and change public opinion.

Then there is torch light.

flashlight-924099_640These are the people who show the way, who lead by example.

In the olden days it used to be lamps or lanterns. girl lamp Psalm 119:105 says “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” The picture is of an unknown and dark future and God’s word illuminates enough of the path to take the next step.

bible-985035_640People who know the word of God can better lead the way.

Then there is the humble candle. Just a little light that can’t be put out by any amount of darkness. candle-1099856_640Today candles are also used in symbolic or sacramental ways (everyday objects reminding us of deeper truths) Examples are lighting candles in memory or somebody, lighting a candle for each year on a birthday cake, giving a baby a candle at his baptism. Candles can also be purely decorative and set a mood for a dinner party or special occasion.

I see candle people as adding that bit of extra to life. they celebrate but are not shallow. They think deeply and act meaningfully bringing a spark to their relationships.

The modern version could be the LED. tiny on its own but en mass what wonderful displays we have seen. The old proverb still holds true. Not all the darkness in the world can extinguish the light of one small LED light.

led-774548_640

I could go on.  There is the Olympic torch where the flame is symbolic of the Olympic spirit and ideals. These are people who make a difference to the world and pass on their legacy to their children.

olympic torch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course the greatest light is the sun and I think this symbolizes Jesus when He said “I am the Light of the World.” The sun sustains all life, promoting growth and sustenance as well as warmth. It gives light to half the world and can disinfect as well. Our little lights are merely images of that great light.

 

sunset-478396_1280

So go out and shine whatever kind of light you have been given.

I’d love to hear your ideas of any other lights and their application.