When I lived in Atlanta, I participated in a monthly Taizé-style prayer service at a local church. The services used the traditions and practices of Taizé, an ecumenical Christian community based in France that has influenced Christian communities around the world. These times of worship, which I truly looked forward to, centered me for the month ahead. Chants, candles, music, readings, and prayer filled the worship space. The service was so simple and so rich. This simplicity was the gift it offered. Its pace invited me to slow down, though this sacred time seemed to fly by.
During the hour, I would set my sight on a candle in the darkened space, which would help me focus on God during the time of extended silence. It radiated light in a dark area that could have easily overwhelmed it. Along with the other lit candles placed around the chapel, the one that held my gaze energized my devotion.
When I read Jesus’ words in today’s passage, I remember those many Taizé evenings of chanting, praying, worshiping in silence, and focusing on the candles in the chapel. It’s amazing what a single light can do in the darkness, drawing our attention while illuminating our surroundings.
Jesus calls us to be a light. This isn’t a call to grab attention to ourselves, but to focus on God and illuminate the world around us. We hope that we are being the presence we need to be through what we say and do. May we shine together so that we can be an even greater light across our communities and the world.
How am I being a light in the world today?
As we strive to be the light in the world, may we stay connected to you, our source, O God. Amen.