During lockdown I made a special point of keeping the Synod 2020 candle burning. Even though the Paschal candle was extinguished at the end of the Easter season, the Synod candle continues to light my path.
All it takes is a lit candle to stir and lift our spirits, and this is because it is a symbol that has meaning for everyone, Christian or otherwise. Light is a very strong theme in the Bible and especially in St John’s Gospel. Referring to Jesus, the author says ‘that the true light that enlightens every person is coming into the world’, and we need that light more than ever as we come out of the darkness of lockdown back into the light.
The problem is that the true light, as well as bringing us hope and joy, will also shine into all the dark corners of our society and show them up for what they truly are. Already that light has shone on the story of our forebears’ involvement in slavery. In addition to facing up to the past, we are reminded that this an ongoing issue and modern slavery is present amongst us. We may encounter it when we get our car washed or eat fruit that is picked by illegal immigrants. Also, the true light has shone into the murky world of racism and the realisation that as a society and individually we simply have not done enough to stamp it out.
As we continue to welcome Christ the light of world, we must prepare to stand up for what that light reveals and means. Keep your Synod 2020 candles burning as we pray for the courage to step into the light.