Sunday 29 December 2013

A Pause In…

…in what? Advent has finished, and so has Christmas - but the New Year has yet to begin. This is the last Sunday of the year – celebrated by some as the feast day of Thomas A Becket, and according to the Church of England website “The days after Christmas Day until the Epiphany traditionally form a unity of days of special thanksgiving.”

Indeed, for many of us, we have much to be thankful for – another year of God’s blessings and faithfulness, and in recent days, the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with our nearest and dearest. To give and receive gifts, to enjoy happy times together.

But not everyone has a life of unalloyed joy right now. I can think of people I know for whom Christmas was spent mourning the loss of a family member, or watching by the bed of someone sick, or being in pain, or being lonely and anxious – and others I don’t know have been unexpectedly without heat or light, or made temporarily homeless by flooding, or were unable to get to their planned destinations. Round the world there is suffering and pain, hunger, homelessness and war. There have been moments when I have felt utterly powerless to do anything, and I have asked God “In this new year, how should I be serving You?” And over and over, a simple little tune has come into my mind. It is one I learned as a very small child – but it has challenged me greatly during this past week.

Jesus bids us shine with a clear, pure light,
Like a little candle burning in the night;
In this world of darkness, so we must shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.

Jesus bids us shine, first of all for Him;
Well He sees and knows it if our light is dim;
He looks down from heaven, to see us shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.

Jesus bids us shine, then, for all around,
Many kinds of darkness in this world are found:
Sin, and want, and sorrow – so we must shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.

IMG_1331 This beautiful candle was a Christmas gift from a friend. I am amazed how much light it produces [the box says ‘up to 45 hours burning time’]. I have decided it is not going to stay unlit, an ornament to be brought out every December along with the other decorations. Rather I am planning to light it frequently , in order to remind myself that I need to ‘be the light’ for Jesus, here in my small corner.


  1. You certainly light up my life Angela! As a child I went to GFS, Girls Friendly Society, and this is their anthem. It is very close to my heart and now you have put a new context on it for me, for the reasons you have explained. This is an easy way for me to cope "in the world"- Thank you and Happy New Year.

  2. Pretty candle. I learned that little song at Sunday School, it was lovely to be reminded of it, thank you. Your candle burns brightly in Blogland, helping us to pause for thought. Enjoy your day Vee xx

  3. As always from you, Ang, very wise words. A heartfelt "Amen" from me xx

  4. I used to sing that as a child, and the words have never left me.
    There has been so much grief and sadness on the news over Christmas.
    I think all we can do is to pray, and to look out for the occasions on which we can offer help or sympathy.

  5. That is a beautiful candle. I remind myself often that I need to be a 'light'.

    I've been thinking of all those poor people affected by the bad weather.

    Hope you have a blessed New Year. x

  6. Beautiful! We sang that song in Sunday school when I was a little girl. I remember the cold church basement warmed right up as we sang, "You in your small corner and I in mine." Love.

  7. ... and I in mine.
    Love from Mum

  8. That is a beautiful candle. I asked for one from my son. A large candle is too much of an indulgence to buy for oneself so I have told him he never needs think of a present for me, a lovely large, scented candle will always make me happy.
    I wish you all the best in health and happiness for 2014.

  9. Love the song. I do not know it so I'm going to find it and listen and learn. Thank you for the encouraging words to SHINE in my little corner.

    1. There's a youtube version here
      the pictures are dire, but you get some idea of the tune!!

  10. True, lovely and something I need to do too x

  11. enjoy your gorgeous candle, and every blessing as you shine on into 2014

  12. A lovely candle and a good reminder for us to be light in the world.


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