Candling for Love

Have you ever candled an egg?  If you have laying hens and a rooster you have to look at eggs to see if they are fertile, have a chick embryo inside, or if they are good for breakfast or to hold a cake together.  You hold the egg up in a dark closet or at night, and you put a light under it.  It’s called candling an egg because, of course, it was once done just with candles.  But you hold it in the light in a dark space and you look into the eggshell.  We can candle our lives as well, for how loving it is.  We can candle projects and decisions, words, and many other things to see if the love inside is alive or is it just a faked out like the egg that is just good for scrambling. 

One of the many things that attracted me here was your love of others and each other.  I remember being at Linda’s house in my first meet-and-greet and being bold over by your engagement with each other.  As you know, I love to watch the interactions and the one thing is clear and that is that you love each other. We heard yesterday about the love you show to one another and places that need spiritual growth.  To grow in any way we have to be all about showing love.

            That was so for the people of Ephesus that Mike read about.  The writer of Ephesians wrote a letter to the church of Ephesus to point out some of the same things and to encourage them to grow spiritually, and to tell them how. This chapter in Ephesians was used as the backbone of Joe and my wedding, so it is a very dear chapter to me.  Because when in a marriage, the litmus test of whether it is good for the marriage or not is to ask, “Is it through and through going to help the love in the relationship?”

            But the writer was writing to a church.  Personally, and especially corporately, we can tie the power of a spiritual life of any person or church to how rooted in love that person or church is willing to be. You can tell what is going on with the roots of a plant by looking at its leaves and fruit.  We have had a problem lately with the plants in the sanctuary being overwatered, and we can tell that the roots are drowning because you can just yank it a little and the plant comes out roots and all.  There is nothing giving it nutrition because there is too much water.

            So you will tell if you are feeding love to your spiritual life and to the life of the church.  Is it powered by love? Henri Nouwen, Christian minister and writer wrote, “The world is waiting for new saints, ecstatic men and women who are so deeply rooted in the love of God that they are free to imagine a new international order.”  Well we are not trying to throw over the government here, but we are engaged in an experiment in all people being equal and all people living with integrity, peacefully, and as simply as possible.  So how do we do that as a church and how do we know we are doing it right? Ephesians goes on to tell you about the fruit of the spirit when you are rooted in love, and the first fruit named is? Love.  The others are joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  If you are deeply rooted in love you will display these fruit in your life and in the life of the church.  1 John 4:1 tells us to candle all of our decisions with love.  It tells us that the world is quick to mislead us, but always follow God and remember that God is love. 

            That s true of our speech about each other, how we interact with one another and with me, and we present ourselves at an impassioned county commission meeting.  We sing a song here, “They will know we are friends by our love.”  It says if there is love, we work side by side, and it helps us to practice our testimonies and fruit of the spirit.   Do we exercise patience, kindness and self-control.  We are all human, and we will all fail in one or more of the categories.  But the bottom line is, does it show love.

            To be able to love we have to be self-aware.  A baby loves its mother, but when that child becomes an adult, when they know they are different from one another, individualized, that genuine love can grow into powerful friendships and lasting good relationships.  This happens because as we grow, we become more self-aware.  So we can candle our motives on things like the poem Jeannette read asks us to.  “What is making me do this?”  “What is powering me or encouraging me?”  If we are self-aware we can tease the ego out of our messy human condition and be honest with ourselves about whether it is loving or not.  If it has to do with ego, it might not hold up to the “Love” test.

  •             What is in your life that you are making a decision on?
  •             What are you doing for the church from a genuinely loving place?
  •             Are you interacting with love for one another?


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