This picture was taken at our recent Easter Vigil. The paschal candle was lit by the Easter fire outside and brought to each person. The flame represents the presence of the Risen Christ. Each of us receives it so we may all be “enlightened”. And now, the paschal candle remains lit throughout the Easter season as a reminder to us. This picture really strikes me as who we are as church. We all have the light of Christ within us, and together we can light up the world.
But lately, I don’t feel so lit up. Thinking back on the last week for our parish: It. has. been. hard. So much having to live in not knowing and needing to be in the tension of that. I feel like I’m supposed to be OK with it all. I am not OK! Not knowing and having to wait for things out of my control are not easy for me. I don’t want to be OK with it. You know what I do want? Company. I want to hold hand-in-hand with my God and our parish and sit together in the discomfort. Hold vigil. This is what we did on Holy Saturday. We gathered around the flame…the Easter flame…and we are still doing this now. Coming to church and gathering around the flame, like a campfire, is what is comforting and healing right now.
The awesomeness of the Easter Vigil is that we wait, but in hope! Despite any odds and unknowing, Jesus lives! Good news still happens! What causes death (to life, to hope, to love) never has the final answer. Jesus sees us through the cross. We hold vigil knowing there will be light again. We don’t have to have that peaceful, touchy-feely feeling. Spirit comes in our moments of wacky unknowing and keeps us company. We can wait in hope despite the answers. Because we have a God who broke through history and chose to dwell among us, even after death.
So I take it back. I do feel lit up. Because God is with me. Because God is with us. And the flame will never go out.