Jesus said, “I am the light of the word! Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
In approximately 1983, at the invitation of Lillian Myers, I had started attending Emmanuel and joined the confirmation class. After confirmation, I was excited to become an acolyte. I enjoyed the responsibility and honor of helping during the service. Thirty-three years later (wow!!) Alex, my oldest son, became an acolyte. It was amazing to see and experience his excitement on the first Sunday he was an acolyte. This year Josh was installed as an acolyte. He has waited with excitement for the past two years to join Alex in serving the church. It has been a joy to see their excitement on the Sundays they acolyte. They enjoy being an acolyte as much as
I did so many years ago. I am proud of their commitment and dedication. Their role has helped remind me of the significance of an acolyte, the carrier of the light, in the service each Sunday.
Light, whether it be physical or spiritual, is significant in our services and in our service to God. In the book of Genesis, God created the world and separated the light from the darkness. In the book of Exodus, God led His people through the wilderness to the promised land by a pillar of fire to light the way. While these are examples of physical light, they are symbolic of spiritual lightness and darkness.
While the acolyte is often “on the job” as we settle into the service each Sunday, he/she plays a significant role in reminding us that Jesus is the source of “light” in our life. The physical light carried in by the acolyte during each service reminds us of Jesus coming into our world and into our lives. The light is a symbol of Jesus’ spiritual presence in our worship. At the end of each service, the physical light is carried out into the world to show that Jesus is for everyone. It is also a reminder that the spiritual light of Jesus Christ is going out into the world where we, as believers, are to serve. We are reminded in Matthew 5:16 by Jesus, ”Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being the light in my life. Please guide me daily to serve as your beacon into the world. Thank you for the young people in our congregation who are excited to honor and serve you each Sunday in our worship service as an acolyte. Guide them daily to keep their light for you shining brightly. Amen.