Since receiving our altar furniture in January, we have had candles lit in every service (except Communion Sundays, when the elements themselves represent the presence of Christ), but you might not know the significance behind this. The candles represent the presence of God with us as we worship, but traditionally the lighting of the candles carries a deeper meaning.
For hundreds of years, acolytes have carried the light into the sanctuary as the service was beginning, reminding us that the presence of God is not contained within the four walls of the church. The presence of God is active in the world where we are, at home, school, work, and everywhere else we go. The acolytes bring in the light as we begin, and it reminds us of the presence of God in our midst as we worship. The two candles on the altar table remind us that Jesus Christ is the light of the world, and He revealed Himself to us as both fully God and fully man. At the end of the service, the acolytes will carry the light out, after extinguishing the candles. We are to continue our worship of God by following Him into all spheres of our life – with family, friends, in school, at work, in sports, music, and whatever else we may find ourselves doing. We are to reflect the light of Christ and actively work with Him to bring redemption and healing in a dark and broken world.
June 8 is Pentecost Sunday, and as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church, we will celebrate the presence of God in our midst as our END Zone kids begin to serve as acolytes. This is a way for them to serve and lead the church in worship, while joining with the experience of Christians all around the world for two thousand years. The light of Christ reminds us of how He has brought light into the darkness, and how we are called to carry His presence with us everywhere we go.