Hope is on the Horizon!

I’ve always loved images of a winter wonderland! In the fields, snowmen are grinning. ??????????????????????????????????On the hills, kids are sledding. In the lane, snow is glistening. Wait… Say that again.  “In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight. We’re happy tonight. Walking in a winter wonderland!”

But this year, the beautiful winter wonderland images have been few and far between. This winter has been weak… Cold? Yes. Filled with wonderland visions? Not too many. If you, too, are tiring of the inclimate weather, hope is on the horizon. Here is some encouragement, a reason for merry-making.

Saturday we will celebrate winter’s ‘HALFWAY point.’

On February 2, winter will be half over! This Saturday is Ground Hog Day, but it’s also known as Candlemas Day. Sometimes called the ‘feast of lights’, it marks the time directly between the shortest day of the year (winter solstice) and the March equinox.  So hang in there. You can expect spring… eventually. Hope is on the horizon!

In the U.S., we usually look for the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil to predict how the rest of winter will go. CandlemasBut according to an old English saying…

If Candlemas be fair and bright,

Winter has another flight.

If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,

Winter will not come again.

Have you ever heard of Candlemas? The ‘feast of lights?’ CANDLEMAS is a time for candle-making, and it marks the official end of the Christmas season, celebrating Jesus’ presentation at the temple 40 days after His birth.

In the past, Candlemas candle-making was necessary for surviving the rest of winter. The candles that had been burning those long dark mornings and evenings through the first half of the season were mostly melted away. More candles had to be made to make it till Spring.

Today, the need for candles is practically obsolete. But the need for HOPE is not. And I think of CANDLES as a symbol of hope

When all is dark and gloomy, a glowing candle will refresh your spirit. Flaming candles give LIGHT. And light reminds me of Jesus, “the light of the world.” Jesus is my hope, my hope on the horizon.

 “His word is lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” When I read His Word, “my God turns my darkness into light.” candlemas2Like a candle, His truth refreshes my spirit.

This Saturday, when you hear the newsmen talking about whether or not the ground hog has seen his shadow, remember the other holiday to be celebrated – Candlemas Day! Rather than drawing the curtains and turning on the screen, unplug, light a candle and open His Word.

Think about Jesus, whose birth we celebrated just 40 days ago. Think about His desire that “no one who believes in (Him) should stay in darkness.”  Remember that Jesus came into this world to be LIGHT, to give us HOPE.

Light a candle! Hope is on the horizon… and you’ll find it in His Word.

{All quotes taken from God’s Holy Word – John 8:12, Psalm 119:105, Psalm 18:28, John 12:46}

Want to make some candles of your own to celebrate? Go here: How to Make Homemade Tarts & Candles | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4556888_make-homemade-tarts-candles.html#ixzz1iRj78oMQ

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Lyrics for Reflection:  (Brian Doerksen –“ Hope of the Nations”)

Jesus- hope of the nations.

Jesus- comfort for all who mourn.

You are the source of Heaven’s hope on earth.

Jesus- light in the darkness.

Jesus- truth in each circumstance.

You are the source of Heaven’s light on earth.

In history you lived and died.

You broke the chains, You rose to life.

You are the hope living in us.

You are the rock in Whom we trust.

You are the light

Shining for all the world to see.

You rose from the dead conquering fear.

Our Prince of Peace drawing us near.

Jesus- our hope living for all who will receive.

Lord, we believe!

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