Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Flame On!!!

I heard a phrase a while ago that really left an impression on my heart. It simply stated: "A candle loses nothing by lighting another." Pretty profound isn't it? Well I've been thinking a great deal about that statement lately. As our church continues to grow and reflect the diversity of our community, certain things are becoming more and more evident. There are changes in our worship expression, changes in who sits next to you on Sunday, and changes in the variety of languages spoken. Why? Because the church should reflect the community, and I live in Orlando, FL, one of the most diverse melting pots in these United States.

These types of changes only happen intentionally. You don't fall or stumble into them. At The Well we choose to blend because we are convinced that the blended church is the church that looks most like heaven (Revelation 7: 9). One of my favorite dictionary definitions of the word blend, is from Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. It defines blend as: To mix various sorts in order to obtain a particular kind or quality. So if we have all these sweet scented candles that aren't lit, their fragrance is hardly noticeable, yet the true purpose of a scented candle is to give light and fragrance to dark and dank places. Imagine how amazingly overpowering the light and fragrance from so many scented candles could be in a place filled with darkness and the overwhelming "stench" of directionless lives. So what does it take to light them? A simple gesture of love that is authentic, relevant, and powerful.

Okay, I'll stop talking in parables (though I'm in pretty good company) and simply explain it like this: Every human is potentially a light or a candle if you will. The Bible refers to Christians though, as the light of the world. To increase the spread of light in our spiritually dark world, we need more candles lit. Each one of us must make a deep and lasting impact on the life of another so that their lives and world views are transformed to reflect a relationship with Jesus. The amazing thing about this is that we lose nothing by loving and touching people, instead we gain so much. I guess it really is true that a candle loses nothing by lighting another. So I've got a couple of questions for you today. How's your flame burning? Are you in the candle lighting business?


Hope said...

Allow me to share something both spiritual and natural. In the natural, I used to collect candles however I would never light them because they were so beautiful. Someone once said to me that I was wasting the very purpose they were made for. How freeing is was spiritually when I began to actually light them - it opened up a whole new world to me.