From the 2011 flood to future hopes, one of the important features of our life in the parish of St Luke Toowoomba has been prayer for our City, especially at Candlemas. For the feast of Candlemas (or Presentation of Christ in the Temple), traditionally celebrated on 2 February, is an important pivotal festival of the spiritual calendar, as Christians turn from the light of Christmas towards the greater light of Easter and healing for our world. In Australia, it also enables us to celebrate the full return of the working year and the beginning of the school year, praying for our local community as a whole. At Candlemas, we therefore hold a special gathering each year, involving others from the wider community, and we pray for and give candles to key figures, groups and organisations in our city. The following is a special prayer I wrote for this occasion, for the start of the new school and full working year and for other times of transition. May it be a blessing for us all:
May this time be one of delightful new beginnings for you
and for all those with whom you love and live.
When you look to the future may you rejoice,
and when you look to the past
may you be thankful and forgive.
May the peace of the Christ child
continue to bring you joy.
and may the hope of the resurrected One
bring you new life.
When you take up new challenges
may your candles burn bright
and when you stumble
may they still flame and flicker in the night.
So may you always know light in darkness
and the Eternal Light within you. Amen.
Jo Inkpin is an Anglican priest serving as Minister of Pitt St Uniting Church in Sydney, a trans woman, theologian & justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice & sustainable creation.