Fr. Wes has brought a challenge to All Saints, a challenge for each of us to participate individually in God so that we can together participate with God in the building of his kingdom, to focus as a congregation on developing inwardly our spiritual discipline in order that we can also as a congregation minister effectively outwardly in the world around us. So, with this emphasis on inward discipline for outward effect, we as a church have recently dedicated and blessed a votive candle stand, given in honor of Kenneth Hanson, for the use of our people. ?
“What is a votive candle stand?” you may ask. “Votive” is a word that comes from the Latin votum or “to vow.” Votive candles are those that are lighted by a church, representing their vow to be a people of prayer. You, my brothers and sisters, are invited to come to the church throughout the week and kneel in the presence of the Lord, to humble yourselves before God in prayer, and to offer up thanksgivings, intercessions, and petitions to our Father in heaven. As you do so, please feel free to light one of the candles in the stand as a sign of the prayers you offer. The light of the candle burns as a symbol of Christ’s own intervention on behalf of your request, for he pleads for us and brings our concerns before the Father. The candles you light will not be extinguished by anyone at the church but will be left to burn until the candle itself is used up, symbolizing the on-going work of the church in prayer and the fact that our prayers should rise to the Lord night and day.
Night and day. Continually. Fervently. With great passion and intensity. This is how we should approach our Father, asking him to bring to this earth the gifts of heaven. Let this candle stand be a tangible sign of the church’s intercessions on behalf of the world around us. As we develop together a more robust corporate prayer life, let All Saints be the first to say, “Lord, use us and our prayers to accomplish Your will.”