By Pastor Geitra Mickelson
November 5, 2020
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
You might have noticed a few changes in our livestream worship service. We’re inviting church members to assist in worship and we’ve brought back an old tradition at Galilee—the use of an acolyte.
As the United Methodist Church website explains,
“Acolytes have been part of the church in one form or another from the earliest times.
The word acolyte comes from the Greek akolouthos, meaning follower or assistant. In the Middle Ages, acolytes were a clerical order. Modern acolytes may have any number of functions. They carry the light, processional crosses, banners, or the Bible. They may also assist with communion, baptism, and other duties. Children often serve as acolytes, but adults serve as well.”
Acolytes “carry the light.” Which light? The light of Christ, who is the Light of the World.
Every time an acolyte carries the light of Christ into the sanctuary, and then lights our altar candles, they are bringing the word of God to life. We’re reminded that we, too, are followers of Christ, and we never have to “walk in darkness” since the “light of life” is with us.
Acolytes have returned to the sanctuary.
When the service concludes, notice that the acolyte extinguishes the altar candles but carries the light of Christ out of the sanctuary. We also follow Christ our Light and our Lord back into our communities, where we are called to serve those in need. Just as Christ is our Light, we are called to be light in places that are dark with despair.
It’s an important moment in worship, a profound moment. Christ our Light is with us. Christ our Light goes before us. Christ our Light leads us.
And in a time such as this, when the darknesses of disease and racism and politics threaten to snuff out our optimism, your pastors thought it wise to remind you of the Light that is always with us. God’s Light has withstood famine, addiction, pestilence, exile, war, tyrants, sin, and death. It is the Light that will continue to lead us out of darkness, if we follow faithfully.
I invite you to take part in this important ritual at home. Bring the holy into your homes by lighting a candle with us during worship—you might also register for our “Advent in a Box,” which is a home worship kit that comes with advent candles.
Be reminded that the Light of the World is with you. You! And be followers and dwellers and instruments of Light.