Tag Archives: New Year

The Candle and the Communion

John 1

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

A few days ago I stood awaiting the advent of the new year. There was a deep sense of standing on the brink of something weighty and meaningful. My mind was filled with all the commentary of our days bemoaning how dismal the past year has been, fearing how dreadful the coming year may be.

Instead, I just felt grateful. The night was calm and clear. Stars shone brightly. Air was crisp and fresh. I was filled with the awareness that life is a gift… every day is a gift… love is a gift, both from others to us and from us to them. It was a sense of the ship of our lives calmly cruising through dark waters from the past into the future, with our Loving Lord at the helm.

Suddenly, the verses above broke into this reverie. It was as if I held a candle in my hands, and God said…

“How much darkness would it take, Little Monk, to snuff out that candle?”

I had no answer…

Imagine yourself, as I did, standing in a small room with all the lights out, an open door in front of you, holding this candle. Can the darkness in the room snuff out the light?

Now, say we walked through the doorway and stood in a great hall. No lights shone anywhere but for the candle in our hands. Clearly, there’s vastly more darkness in this hall than in that little room. But does the candle go out? Does the candle flame even notice?

Forward we walk, obeying a quiet invitation, through a door into a vast arena. Imagine a professional football stadium, and we stand in the center of the 50 yard line. There’s no light anywhere but for us and our little candle. Can ALL THIS darkness snuff out our light?


In fact, as we stand there, we find other people walking up to us, attracted by the light, seeking to kindle the little candles they carry in their hands. The darkness around us makes no difference. We can see only to the limit of our light, but no matter how big the darkness is, it doesn’t diminish our flame.

Be encouraged, Gentle Reader. It is easy to feel overwhelmed watching the news, reading the paper, even following the daily drama of our lives and our communities. But our role is to lift our candle and walk forward. Let us not be discouraged or dissuaded by how deep or vast the darkness appears to be around us. The darkness MUST yield to light, and it cannot touch the flame. It cannot comprehend it.

Keep walking forward, walking by the light of grace, helping others find their way and light their own candles from our love.

Grace to you in this Blessed New Year, Gentle Reader!


Posted by on January 3, 2021 in Uncategorized


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New Year Joy… Top Secret…

A really quick word for all Gentle Readers…

First off, Happy New Year! (And I really mean that!)

Second, Jesus taught me this really cool thing this morning over coffee… as I pondered all that… end of the old year… start of the new year… resolutions… stuff. Thought I’d share it with you.

But here it is…

He, His Father, and His Spirit don’t just “come around” when we’re “good”. He doesn’t just “hang with us” when we “ask Him to”, He doesn’t just “hear us” when we close our eyes, bow our heads, and fold our hands. In fact, He is not just “with us” in the sense of “remaining within our personal space”. He is Life Himself… there is no form of life beyond Him. He upholds ALL things by the word of His power.

Simply… He beats our hearts. He breathes our breaths into us. His very love and life vibrate every atom that exists. All that is, or was, or will ever be begins with Him, is sustained by Him, and returns to Him. Know it or not, like it or not, deserve it or not, He is with and in all that exists… or rather, all that exists is with and in Him.

And here’s the incredible part.. the joyful part…

Every single day, He gives us life, and breath, and heartbeats… time… just as His gift! And alongside that, He loads each moment with grace. And within that grace, there is joy. And within that joy there is strength.

People the world over, me included, sometimes miss the moment… that grace, joy, and strength… because we are focused on the past instead of on the present. Maybe we’ve had a tough week, or month, or year. Maybe we’ve even had a horrendous life!

But watch this! All that… everything that has happened up to this very moment… is in the “past” and DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE!

There! Right there was the secret the Lord taught me this morning over coffee!

It takes the Imagination to dredge up past hurt. Whether we hurt someone else, or someone else hurt us, or we suffered through terrible circumstances… NOW… at THIS moment… ALL that is IMAGINARY! And there is no grace in the present moment, to strengthen us to deal with it. We’re dealing with it out of “battery power” rather than being hooked up to our real Power Line. And that will weary us in no time flat.

So there you go, Gentle Reader. A Top Secret method for foolproof Joy and the Strength He brings. Embrace, then dismiss, the Past as the memory and imagining it is.

Embrace and grasp the Present. He is Here. He is Now. He is Grace! Seek that, find that, focus intently on that… Accept the gift of these breaths and heartbeats… no one truly knows how many we are allotted. Thank, praise, and worship Him in them… then receive the grace in this moment and pass it along in relationship with someone else.

Maybe a family member… maybe a friend… maybe a total stranger. Pass the grace along! Love without fear or reservation! Let Him be Him in and through you, as He challenges me to allow!

I promise… I absolutely promise with all my heart… when we do this… there is grace, there is joy, there is strength. And the past, and all those hurts, all those mistakes and misunderstandings, will lose their grip on your heart!

Happy New Year! It is a gift, straight from the hand and heart of our holy and completely loving God! Don’t worry about focusing on resolutions! Just focus on Him, on receiving the grace and joy He has nestled in each and every day for you, and on passing that along in relationship with another!

Grace and joy to you, Gentle Reader!

Little Monk

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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in Quiet Time, Uncategorized


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