Our priest travels twelve hours every two weeks to say mass to our small congregation. At nearly 80, he is surprisingly open minded and I am sure that his 50 years of reflection in the great North has something to do with it.

Two things jumped at me this morning during the readings. I have to tell you that I attend mass in French and that I am much more familiar with the wording of the scriptures in French. I was looking up the same references in English to refer to in this blog, and I find that the actual passages have a very different connotation. I am also less familiar with the different versions, so you’ll forgive me for choosing one of the simpler translations. I chose here the World English Bible.

So, first revelation was Hebrews 11, 1:

11:1 Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.

A literal translation from the French actually sounds more like this: ‘Faith is the way to already possess what we hope for, and to know the reality that we still cannot see.’ See how language can totally change things? This is the essence of magic: that hope, faith or will, whatever we choose to call it. It is complete persuasion that we already hold that which we intend. It is right there in the scriptures.

Second passage that moved me today was from Luke 12, 35

12:35 “Let your waist be dressed and your lamps burning.

Again, the French translation is slightly different. It reads something like ‘Remain in your work clothes (service clothes) and keep your lamps burning.’ In this there is a connotation of work that is somewhat lost in the English version. Nevertheless, it calls to us as Christians to constantly keep working at the upkeep of the Lord’s house, doing his bidding not because he is there, but because it is the right thing to do. As our priest said today, true Christians do not live in a bubble. They live in the real world and they work in the real world. It is a calling, a mission that we work for. It is a way of life. It is not just a philosophy or a theology. It is very real.

When I merged Christianity and Paganism, it was to remain in the real world. It was to fight in it, to love in it, to serve in it. That’s what Jesus did. He did not retreat to the Temple to teach. He walked in the real world and did real things, like feeding the poor and healing the sick. The passage of the lamp burning had always struck me of impending doom. But today it spoke of something else. It spoke of lighting a light as a sign of commitment to this lifestyle that I chose. Lighting a light to say: I am here and I make a pledge to work for this cause. I am a follower of Jesus and I intend to follow his example to the best of my understanding and my ability. And I do this in the real world, with the powers he has given me.

I will light a candle tonight as a symbol of that commitment and I intend to do so for the rest of the week. I hope you can join me in this. Post a line to have yourself counted in this movement. Someone asked me lately how we could start getting together as Christians and Witches. I’ll come back on that soon. But for now, I think we have to take that first step of stepping up to the plate and making our pledge. I just know that the more candles we light, the more the Great Web will feel our presence and the easier it will be to reach one another. Imagine: a million little flames burning in the night sky, giving light and warmth and hope. For that is what we all are!

Light and love,