by the Rev. Charlie Dupree
In her sermon on Sunday, Gwynn mentioned keeping our lamps filled with oil – a metaphor for being prepared, taking care of ourselves spiritually, and being aware of and open to the presence of God. She pointed to our side chapel, a place set aside for quiet contemplation and being in the presence of God. The information below is in our service bulletin each Sunday, but I thought I’d run it here, as a reminder . . .
A place for prayer, candle-lighting, and contemplation
St. Paul’s is a holy space in which we encounter God’s presence in many ways.
Candle-lighting. Lighting candles is an ancient practice of the church. The flame has always been considered a sign of God’s presence. Near the lectern is a place set aside for you to light candles. You may see people visit this area before service or during communion. Perhaps you’ll light a candle in memory of a loved one, or for a particular thanksgiving or hardship in your own life. Your prayers combine with the prayers of the community as we put our trust and hope in God.
Being in the presence of Jesus. Near the pulpit is a small chapel set aside for quiet contemplation and prayer. An item called a “Tabernacle” is present. It reminds us of the portable tent in which the Hebrews worshiped during their time in the wilderness. This small, wooden cabinet contains the consecrated bread from holy communion, a sign of Christ’s presence in our midst. A candle is lit whenever the bread is in place. Even when the church is dark, the light remains, reminding us of the church’s role to be a light in the midst of darkness. Here, in Christ’s presence, you may spend time in stillness and quiet prayer. On most Sundays during communion, a priest is present to offer prayers for healing for yourself or for someone else.
“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine,” says the old hymn.
May your inner light be bright, and may your lives shine with the love and radiance of God.
See you in church,