One Candle Lights One Candle

from Lynda Lindsey

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. II Timothy 2:1-2

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who called him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. II Timothy 2:3-6

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. II Timothy 2:24-26

Christmas Eve church services often conclude with the congregants holding shimmering candles aloft while singing the hymn, Silent Night. The pastor, using the Christ candle from the advent ring, lights the first person’s candle, then each person in turn lights his candle from his neighbor, and the church grows progressively brighter. In the same way that the service depicts Christ’s light spreading and dispelling the world’s darkness, the gospel spreads as faithful pastors entrust the gospel to faithful men and women, who in turn will preach, teach, and live out the gospel in all its truth. 

The gospel will spread, but not without opposition; therefore godly, faithful kingdom workers must be as dedicated to hard work, as disciplined in Christ’s cause, and as prepared for suffering and hardships, as soldiers, athletes, and farmers are in their vocations. The soldier, once enlisted under the commander-in-chief’s direction, is prepared either for the win or to give his life in the attempt. Athletes, totally sold-out to bringing home the victor’s crown, compete according to the rules so as to not be disqualified; farmers must diligently battle the elements to reap bounteous harvests. 

Regardless of the battles, the hardships, or the persecution that may come, we are promised strength for the battle, strength that comes by the grace found in the Lord Jesus, strength and power imparted to us by God’s Holy Spirit, and the certainty that one day, our earthly labors finished, we will obtain the eternal glory that awaits us and will rule and reign with Christ eternally! As one candle lights one candle, the true gospel entrusted to faithful men and women spreads; as God grants repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, God’s kingdom advances! Keep the fire burning!