We don’t need candles for illumination in our church, but any church with an altar looks barren without its candles. Some are mounted on a three-branched candelabrum, suggesting the Trinity, our God who is one God in three persons. Some altars feature a pair of candlesticks, suggesting the two natures of Christ, the divine and human Savior who invites you to that altar to receive the Supper. Sometimes that candle is a giant single column, representing the constant presence of Christ among his people.
Inside the temple’s Holy Place, an oil lamp burned each night as a visual reminder of the rock-steady presence of a God whose unconditional love never wavers. As you light the fourth candle in the fourth Advent week, let it remind you of the constant and faithful presence of God in your life. Let it be a symbol of the living relationship that you enjoy now and will enjoy forever in heaven.
Let it fill your heart with serenity and calm, for it is lit in honor of the One who came just as he said he would and did just what he said he would. All is good between you and God. You are loved, forgiven, and immortal. “To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Let that fourth candle remind you of the peace that Jesus brings.