The first things that come to my mind as we enter the month of November are bonfires and fireworks. I have vivid memories as a boy of helping my father pile wood, leaves and other garden waste up to build a bonfire at the bottom of the garden. As dusk fell various invited neighbours gathered and then the bonfire, complete with an effigy of Guy Fawkes, was lit. Sausages were sizzled on forks attached to long canes and fireworks were let off. Even in those less safety conscious day’s fireworks were an adult responsibility but there was something exciting to a small boy about being entrusted with a sparkler! You are no doubt familiar with the ritual of one sparkler being lit from another until dozens are being waved around to paint patterns in the night air. Given a sufficient supply of sparklers and willingness to share the flame this handheld display can be kept going for many minutes. One sparkler on its own however can seem quite tame and will soon burn away to nothing.
Christian faith too is best experienced in the company of others as together we share the joy, and at times heartache, of being a follower of Jesus. Whether our journey of faith is long, short, or not yet started the act of sharing it with others encourages the whole community, including ourselves, in much the same ways as happens when sparklers are ignited off each other. However, if we try and live our faith in isolation then we can quickly lose our sparkle and become dull and cold. Once a sparkler is burnt out all that is left is a useless length of wire. The good news however is that if a person’s faith seems burnt out it can be invigorated by joining with others whose flame is burning brighter.
If as these colder winter months draw in you feel that your life has lost its sparkle then perhaps it is time to immerse yourself in a church community. Whether you are an old hand or completely new to the Christian faith I am confident that you will receive a warm welcome at any of the churches in Hook. You can find out more on the adjacent pages.
This blog post featured in the November 2013 edition of Hook Focus