I’m on a candle kick right now, mostly because the scent of lavender is soothing, and we need soothing right now, don’t we?
One morning, as I was sitting down to start work, I lit my candle and my curiosity got the best of me. How exactly does a candle stay lit?
The explanation is far more complicated than I realized. Here’s what the National Candle Association (yes, there is such a thing) says on its website.
If you don’t want to read the rather lengthy explanation of the science behind it, it boils down to this: waxes are essentially hydrocarbons, which means they are composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms. The heat of the flame melts the wax near the wick and the liquid wax is drawn up the wick by “capillary action.” Heat is created to the point that it melts more wax to continue the combustion process.
It’s even more complicated than that, but you get the idea.
In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says this about his followers: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
This begs the question: how do we do our part to keep our flame burning so we can offer the fragrance of Christ to the world? The combustion process doesn’t happen naturally, as it does with a candle. But the consistency of the candle’s flame is our example.
The combination of worship (both private and corporate) and continual fellowship with other believers stokes our flame and keeps it burning.
In this time of social distancing, we have more technology available to us than ever before — technology that allows us to be transported to each other’s living rooms. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and so many other tools stand at the ready. Take the lead this weekend and set up virtual meetings until we can all meet face to face again.