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Amidst the shadows of today, a lit candle on your table speaks of hope, healing, and the true spirit of Christmas
25 December 2023, 08:50 | Updated: 29 December 2023, 12:15
I am old enough to remember when candles were still allowed on Christmas trees; the feel of the little wax fingers as they went into the clip on holders on the tree which never seemed to stay upright.
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The magic of those candles in the hard times after the Second World War has stayed with me.
The lit candle offers a natural symbol of light in the midst of darkness, of hope in the midst of despair, of peace in the midst of war, of reconciliation in the midst of conflict, of healing in the midst of suffering.
It is also one of the most significant symbols of Christmas. Forget the Robins, the Deer, the Santas and Sleighs. The lit candle proclaims the coming of hope into the world through the birth of Jesus who in his life offered an alternative to darkness.
There is so much pain and suffering around us this Christmas.
The pictures of children in Gaza haunt all of us.
The story of homeless refugees giving birth in a shed reminds us of all that is wrong in our nation and the world.
Yet it also reminds us that the story is about the real hope of new life, of never giving up on the fight to make life better for all humankind.
Perhaps a lit (but safe) candle on your Christmas dining table will speak to all those gathered of the real Christmas story.