Day 16: The Candles
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:46
The Seder begins with the lighting of candles. Generally the hostess or oldest daughter will light them, often with a blessing, “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who has set us apart by his word, and in whose name we light the festival lights.”
It is always a woman who lights the candles because it is said, “From the womb of a woman the light of the world will come forth.” This is based on God’s promise in Genesis 3:15, that from the woman would come the one who would crush the serpent. Many of those celebrating the Seder are still waiting for that Light to come, but for those of us who believe that the Light of the World did indeed come from Mary, in the person of Jesus, that promise has already been fulfilled, and we are experiencing the Light in personal ways.
There are two candles lit. One of them represents the light of God shining into the world, and the other is our light—as we are meant to bring his light to those around us. God promised Abraham that through him the whole world would be blessed, and his offspring were meant to be testimonies of God’s presence in the world. So many of the Psalms speak of their proclamation of God’s truth, and yet we cannot say that the Jews were very evangelistic people of God. They were more often content to be his chosen people, rather than seek to share his light with the world. Yet God promised that nations would come to his light (Isaiah 60:3), and many of us live as the fulfillment of that precious promise!
• What about you? Are you that light on the hill that Jesus called you to be? As the old maxim goes, “If Christianity were a crime, is there enough evidence of it in your life that you could be convicted? How brightly does his light shine through your life to those around you?
• How often do you contemplate the privilege you have to be given his light in your heart and mind? What does this mean to you?
Lord, you are indeed the Light in the darkness. Your light is my hope, my comfort, my ability to understand and experience you. You are so gracious to give your light to me, may I not hoard it or hide it, but share it, shining it to this dark world. Make me more aware of individuals around me who need it.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries