Churches yesterday celebrated the fourth Sunday in Advent, lighting the fourth candle – the candle of the angels. Christians remembered angels appearing to shepherds announcing, ‘Peace to all men’. So it’s also known as the ‘peace candle’.
It’s easy to respond to the human aspects of the Christmas narrative – engagement, pregnancy, journeys, working shepherds, wise men following their dreams, jealous kings, genocide, refugees…
Our current world is about the human – the health of the nation and our Covid-world; depending on the work and advice of scientists in controlling the Pandemic; observing the characters in the dramas of Brexit and American presidential politics; escaping in the Strictly Come Dancing final or BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
We’re used to the fictional non-human worlds of Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, Lewis’ Narnia, Pullman’s Dark Materials, Rowling’s Harry Potter, superheroes…
At Christmas we have worlds involving fairies, witches, seven dwarfs, genies in bottles… The big question is ‘Is Father Christmas human?’ An eternal being with flying reindeer…? Worth musing on!
The angel candle reminds us that non-human beings are key to the Christmas narrative: angels appearing to Mary, Joseph and shepherds; a baby who is said to be the ‘Son of God’; a God who intervenes in our human world.
We’re challenged again to muse on the existence and nature of God and the difference between fairies and angels, fiction and truth, light and darkness…
I’m musing this morning on: “I am the Alpha and Omega,’ says the Lord, ‘Who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)
The message of the peace candle that the angels brought to the shepherds, undoubtedly contains truth; we all need peace this Christmas – peace in our minds, families, and hearts.
We muse on whether it is a message brought by real angels from a real God, or by fairies in a fairy story.