Cuthbert United Methodist Church
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

ACOLYTE ENLIGHTENMENT

Light is a powerful symbol that seems to speak to our Spirits a sense of reverence and hope.  It is a long-held tradition that assistants in worship would ceremonially bring in and carry out  the light for altar candles as a way to signal that worship has begun.  At Aldersgate, acolytes serve from 3rd through 6th grade.  They wear special robes and cassocks, which set them apart for their special representative task.  
Expect great things from God; Attempt great things for God.
The power of one candle to pierce the darkness is a strong biblical image that we understand.  Jesus (who was present at the creation of light itself) said, “I am the light of the world.”  When our acolytes bring in the light, they remind us that Jesus Christ is present with us in worship.  Jesus also said to his followers, “You are the light of the world.”  When the Christ-light is carried out in front of us at the end of our corporate worship, we are reminded that Christ goes with us, and we are to be Christ-light bearers in the world.  
During the season of Advent and Christmas, light is one of our starring (pun intended) symbols.  During the dark, long nights of winter, we anticipate the coming of Jesus, the light of the world. (It’s no coincidence that Christmas and the Winter Solstice, which turns the corner to longer days, are days apart!)  We place candles in the windows, demonstrating the power of Christ to illumine the dark world, and showing our readiness for him to come again.  We light Advent candles each week as a sign of our preparation.  A special large white candle, called the “Christ Candle,” is at the center of the wreath, and is finally lit on Christmas eve, after the Nativity scriptures are shared.  
Light illumines and warms – may it serve as one more way that we may be comforted by, and opened to God’s presence in our worship.
P.S.  One of my fellow deacons shared with me that her first sense of “calling” came to her when she served as an acolyte.  The responsibility of carrying the light touched her, helping her to realize that God wanted her to be a servant-leader for Christ.  As you see an acolyte come down the aisle, say a prayer for him/her, that they, too, will embrace this, (our) highest calling in life: to be a Christ-light-bearer.