Bearing the Light

By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

Sometimes what is most profound is in the details.

A beautiful Advent worship had been planned. A young girl, beloved by our congregation, with severe physical disabilities was invited to light the Advent candle. As she rolled to the front of our circle in her wheel chair, Gail (our pastor) realized she would not be able to bend to the table where the candles were displayed.

Gail lifted two candles from the Advent cluster, one already lit and one waiting for flame. Handing the unlit candle to the young girl, she held the other one in her own hand, catching hot wax as it dripped down the side. Arms reached toward one another as one light became two.

The service continued, but as Gail sat back down beside me, I saw the wax already cooling on her fingertips. This sight became to me a symbol of the presence I also felt– God with us.  I deeply admired Gail’s compassionate leadership, her impulse for inclusion, her sacrificial act to bear light for and with another.

Bearing light is not easy. It may result in hot wax on your fingertips, or other forms of discomfort and inconvenience as we make a way for the peaceable kin-dom to flourish among us. Being a witness to this light-bearing restored hope in me, and a renewed conviction about the light I am called to bear in places darkened by fear or despair.

However we hold the light and in whatever place, what was clear to me in that moment was the incomprehensible width of invitation. It is a light for all people, within all people, carried by each one. As we move toward Christmas, may we reach toward flame and heat held by others brave enough to guide the way, that one light may become many.


Lenten Practice: Silence
Daily Act: Witness Resurrection!
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.


by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

What does it mean today
To proclaim the Lord is risen?
What do we mean when we say
Christ is ALIVE?

I think it must have something to do
With the deepest hope within us
Coming to life
For the sake of others

Resurrection is
Not a one-time occurrence
But a way of life

The Living Christ question is:
What do you see?

Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
A relationship is forming
A warm meal is being shared
A welcome embrace is being offered
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
A hungering child receives nourishment
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
A weapon is laid down
The option of love overpowers the option of harm
Enemies become surprising friends
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Someone once cast aside finds inclusion
Someone who feels alone finds community
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Courage is born that leads to justice
A domination system is challenged
A way of peace emerges against the odds
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Someone once isolated by illness receives care
Someone grieving receives comfort
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
A hardened heart is softening
A broken heart is healing
A person once hopeless finds reason to live
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Someone’s worth is affirmed
Someone is given a cure, a mosquito net, a home
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Someone is doing something radical and courageous for love
A prophetic vision is unfolding
The kingdom of God come near
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Someone has felt loved for the very first time

Today, in the name of Jesus Christ-
A reconciliation
A reconnecting
A rediscovering
A reinterpreting
A mind changed
A life transformed

Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Good news to the poor
Oppressed set free
Captives released
Sight restored

The stone has been rolled away from our own eyes
And suddenly we cannot help but see all around us
Resurrection in action
New life happening even now

Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
YOU- you being called
You being loved
You being stirred to life deeper
To live the resurrection story again and again
To believe, still, in what is possible
For this earth and for each of us

May you SEE
May you BE
The Living Christ
In the world
This day.