“And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him”. As he was saying these things, many believed in him. Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “if you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:29-32

When the world is living in dark times, it can be hard to find the light. My heart often reminds me that the light has never left, but my head does not always believe it. A year into this pandemic, many of us are isolated, and we feel alone. In John 8:29, Jesus reminds us that God, the Father, has always been by his side. When we walk with God, we are never alone. When the world is shutting down, God does not walk away. Through the highs and lows of this journey we call life, God will never leave our sides. But how can we remember this undeniable truth when we are experiencing the lows?

At St. Paul’s Ivy, the Children’s Formation classes follow the Godly Play curriculum. At the conclusion of each lesson, we witness a beautiful symbol of Christ’s presence in our lives. A Christ candle is lit, allowing the children to “sit with the story,” while they witness the Light. The leader concludes this reflection period with the words, “now we are going to change the light.” The flame is then covered with a candle snuffer, and the smoke spreads throughout the room. The children learn that although we can no longer see the light it has not disappeared. Instead, the light has filled the space, so they can carry it out and share it with the world.

This tangible confirmation of God’s presence in our lives serves as a reminder of the truth of John’s gospel. The Light may change, but it has not left. Even when we feel alone, we have not been deserted. As we journey through uncertain times, may we all remember to share God’s light with the world. And I pray that you too will feel God’s ever-present love.

Psalm 83, Psalm 42, Psalm 43, Psalm 85, Psalm 86; Jeremiah 10:11-24; Romans 5:12-21; John 8:21-32