Candles for God

For several years I have gotten into the habit of lighting a candle during my Bible reading and devotional time and then I travelled and got out of the practice. Last night a deep depression fell on me and so this morning I proceeded to light a scented candle again, one which happened to smell like cologne, and I read some Psalms and the first half of Romans.

Romans usually depresses me because its opening is so convicting in our age, where we approve of sinful acts, etc. etc., as progressives who support the dignity of all people. It was a different time period and the ways of humanity and culture are mysterious, so I have resolved to look at human gender and sexuality with care and curiosity rather than self-righteousness or conviction.

Usually I avoid Romans. But this morning I felt called to read it and it paid off. This is a letter that is 100% by Paul, while other letters attributed to Paul maybe were not written by him. Or so (some) scholars say. His writing shines, and it came alive for me as the candle burned.

This gets to a deeper point about how engaging the senses in worship or devotional time is really important. Just by lighting the candle, I conjured up memories of all the many days over the years where I had committed to reading devotionally in the morning.

Christian art is also important because it connects us with community, as a point of reflection of the work that others have done in Christ’s memory as artists.

My spiritual director is Catholic, and I think that she is also wise because the spiritual disciplines of Catholicism, historically, have engaged the senses extensively, and just interacting with her deepens my faith. Today, somehow, lighting the candle had the same impact.

One response to “Candles for God”

  1. You hit the nail on the head, Erin. I do find it hard to believe that homosexuality is a sin. I think the Bible is talking about the “common” practice of Romans and other ancient civilizations to prostitute themselves in a same sex relationship. That would be using sex, a gift God gave us, for profit. I also find it interesting that Christians choose a sin that they have no issue with or have “conquered” and claim that it is worse than all others. Jesus said, “He that is without sin, cast the first stone.” And one by one, they got up and walked away.


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