When our children enter our classroom on Sunday morning and join the circle for the story, they see that the candle is lit. We remind them that the candlelight helps us remember that this is a special time and that God is with us as we spend an hour thinking about the Light of the World.
The candle remains lit throughout our time in class until our very last moment of closing. In the classroom in which I teach, we have a tradition for “changing the light.” Each Sunday at the end of our time together, one child gets his/her turn to change the light. As they extinguish the candle with a snuffer, we all watch the smoke twirl around and spread until we can’t see it anymore. We remind the children that just because we cannot see God, God goes with us as we leave, much like the smoke that fills the room, that gets in our hair and on our clothes, that we can sometimes catch a whiff of, if we’re paying attention. We take the Light with us as we leave, and we hope to carry it to others as we go through our daily lives.