Let the Son Shine

Dear Friends:
Friday is a holiday.
Let the Son shine. Obviously not talking about Groundhog Day. February 2 is the Feast of the Presentation, one of the oldest recorded celebrations of the Christian church, dating from the mid-300s. This ritual recalls Mary’s day of purification and the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. This is his “baby dedication.” At that time a righteous guy named Simeon spontaneously recognized that this baby was the Messiah and he praised God saying,
“my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2: 30-32 

Some Christians do not take down their Christmas decorations until after this day. It is also called Candlemas because people bring their candles to their church and present them for a blessing. They are used throughout the rest of the year to represent the light of Christ. For a fun review of customs around the world check out the Candlemas page of Wikipedia.

While Groundhog Day suggests that seeing the light of the sun, and thus our shadow, means that the winter is a long way off, this Christian feast day invites us to rejoice in the providence of God in any season. Even though, or perhaps because, we know our shadow side (the sin and darkness all around and within us) we honor the gift and calling to be light in the world as Christ is the light.

Here’s a devotional ritual and a blessing for your candles. Maybe you can offer a dinner time ritual with your family and shadows or not, dedicate yourselves to letting your light shine.

(light a candle)

Read John 1: 1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.

Read Matthew 5: 14-16  

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. People do not light a lamp and put it under the bushel basket; rather, they put it on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in 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 in heaven.

Talk about: What parts of yourself would you like to hide from? Where do you see yourself a light that helps others? If you came out of hibernation, and saw the light of Christ, and your shadow, would you crawl back in bed and hide from yourself and the world? Or would you come out rejoicing in the light you see and bear?


By your grace, O Lord, you appoint us to be a light of hope, a beacon of peace and love, shining in the world. Like a candle shining in the darkness, may our lives be a light of hope that tells the story of Jesus and his love. Praise and honor to you, O God, in the name of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, amen.
(sing-kids version) This Little Light of Mine
(or here Spiritual Version-Odetta): This Little Light of Mine
Images: By Unknown author – (2003) Icônes arabes : art chrétien du Levant, France: Institut du monde arabe (France), pp. 22−39 ISBN: 2914338074., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97456761; “Church candles” by John Christian Fjellestad is licensed under CC BY 2.0.