For three days, two thousand years ago, the flame was completely extinguished and the world grew dark. Perhaps darker than it had ever been.
But then from the depths of that particular tomb, a small but incredibly bright flame burst out. Over the next several days this flame ignited other small sparks around the middle east. And then on the day of Pentecost, that flame divided into several small tongues of fire and filled an upper room in Jerusalem with light. Small lights and not so bright as the one intense light, to be sure, but now there were many.
Since that day the fire has been spreading. Many becoming legions, ultimately bringing light to every corner of the earth. Today there are literally millions of points of this pure light. True, many of these flames barely flicker. The wicks often fizzle and threaten to extinguish. They often produce more smoke than light. Yet they always remain capable of suddenly, surprisingly springing back to life.
Many others glow robustly, giving a clear light to the surrounding atmosphere. And there are a surprising number of even brighter flames whose color comes closest to the original pure white light of the original flame. Some of these bright lights we have even known by name down through the ages. Names such as Peter and Paul for certain. But also many others. Francis, and Mother Teresa and Billy Graham come to mind. And some of the brightest flames faithfully repel darkness and obscurity as they burn on, completely anonymous. Anonymous that is to us, but not to the Giver of Light.
And always, little by little, since that Great Darkness was shattered 2,000 years ago, the darkness is continually being driven back. Slowly, oh so slowly, yet inevitably, the Light is coming into the world.
Jesus said: "I am the Light of the world." Even so, Lord Jesus, Come!