Easter is the celebration of how Jesus Christ overcame sin and spiritual darkness and death, changing our lives now and for eternity, by enabling us to live in the light and freedom of God’s love.
In many Christian traditions there is an Easter vigil service which usually begins outside in darkness at sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Sunday outside the church. A fire is started and blessed, and from it is lit a large candle, called the ‘Paschal candle’. The people follow the paschal candle into the church, each holding a small unlit candle of their own. One by one each person lights their candle in the flame of the ‘Paschal candle’. The darkness is overwhelmed by the ever-increasing light that culminates in the lights of the church being turned on and brightness floods the auditorium.
As the darkness is transformed one light at a time, so lives are transformed by God’s light penetrating one life at a time. This beautiful visual metaphor shows us that we can transform our community, by starting with one life at a time. As each one of us goes into our community caring and sharing the healing love of Jesus in word and deed, we change lives!
The power of compassionate care can transform individuals, families, and whole communities, and even entire nations, because just as darkness can only be transformed by light, lives can be changed by experiencing the light of God’s love. This happens when each follower of Jesus Christ demonstrates that they care for people.
How can you be God’s shining light in your sphere of influence as your act of worship to Jesus Christ? How can you encourage someone to see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’? How can you show the ‘bright side’ to a difficult situation? It may require giving yourself without expectation of any return. It may involve going out of your way to support another person, or journeying the extra mile with someone, showing an attitude of grace, gratitude, forgiveness, humility, service, love. It is not possible to sustain loving actions in your own strength, but it is possible with the empowerment of the Spirit of God who leads, guides, equips and enables you to show God’s love and show the ‘fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (Galatians 5:22).
Why not light a small ‘Paschal candle’ yourself and place it where you can see it every day, as a reminder that God is your light and your salvation. It is because of Easter and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection that light came into our world and into our lives. Let your light shine and provide light and life to others so we can influence our community and transform lives, one at a time.
(John 1: 4-5).
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”