One of the things I love about the Advent season (and Christmas, for that matter) are all the candles and lights. They are a sign of hope for me–the candles in the windows bringing a light into the darkness of this time of year–like the wise virgins keeping their lamps burning bright for the coming of the Bridegroom.
I love this reading from Amy Carmichael. It’s the reading for today, December 17, which also happens to be my birthday. I share this only because its occurrence on this day reminds me that the Lord, from all time, knew today would be my birthday and that I would be reading this. It also has significance for me because the passage she refers to from Lk 7.23 is one of those passages that have shaped my spiritual life–a word spoken by Jesus to John the Baptist when he was in prison: “Blessed is he (she) who takes no offense at me.” But that’s a sharing for another time . . .
“She hath neither rusted out, nor burned out. She is burning still.” I read that in an Australian magazine and I prayed that it might be true of each one of us. We want most earnestly not to rust out, we would gladly be burned out, but till that day comes, the Lord keep us “burning still.”
Perhaps some of us are sorely tempted to think that just now there is not much that is “burning” about our lives. Some are ill, some have duties of a very simple sort–where does the burning come in? Where did it come in when John the Baptist was shut up in prison? He could not do anything but just endure, and not be offended, and not doubt his Lord’s love. But when our Lord Jesus spoke of him, He said he was burning and shining–“a burning and a shining light”. [John 5.35]
It is not the place where we are, or the work that we can or cannot do, that matters, it is something else. It is the fire within that burns and shines, whatever our circumstances. (Edges of His Ways, pp. 182-3)
Till that day comes, the Lord keep us all “burning still”.