On Christmas Eve, the last candle of Advent is lit. The Christ Candle. It is one of the most well attended church services of the year. At the church I attend, the 11 p.m. candlelight service is my favorite. At the closing of the service, those attending, stand and form a large circle around the sanctuary. Everyone holds a candle. The lights are dimmed, and, starting with the Christ Candle, each person lights the candle of the person next to them until every candle is lit. Silent Night is sung as the candlelight fills the sanctuary. Truly inspiring and a perfect start to Christmas Day.

This year, there will be no service. Due to the cold weather and more inside gatherings, the COVID virus is spreading. Our health care workers and all essential workers are being stressed to the max. Elderly loved ones are dying without their loved ones beside them. Heart wrenching for all in the family.

As the summer progressed, and the curve of infection was flattened, many argued for more liberty in holding services. The same type of chorus was heard from small businesses and many in society. But the curve is no longer flattened and the positivity rate is above 8 percent.

So how does the Christian best light their candle from the flame of the Christ Candle this Christmas? Isolate and limit their family gatherings. Limit holiday interactions. Help stop the spread in every way possible. It is not only the Christian thing to do, but the most compassionate thing to do. Then, in your small way, you will be spreading the light of the Christ Candle.

James Kline


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