Today is Candlemas, the day in which we turn from Christmas to look towards Lent and Easter, so the church hall was filled with light from candles of all sizes. We're still not able to go into the church itself as the roof is still under repair, but the services in the church hall always feel very friendly and inclusive. People smile a lot and there's always a good feeling about the place.
As part of the talk during the service, we were all given a small piece of card in the shape of a candle to remind us that we should let ourselves shine in the world. What a lovely thought that is!
It reminded me of the poem by Marianne Williamson which I've written about before, but just fits beautifully with the sentiment of today's service.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,
fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve
the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other
people permission to do the same. As we are liberated
from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Isn't that wonderful? It doesn't matter what your religious view are, we all have a light to shine and bringing it out to show the world and encouraging other people to do the same is something that we all should do more often.