Candles are pretty remarkable. They can help to give atmosphere to a space, they can light up darkness, they can inspire hope, they can bring comfort, they can be a sign of resistance, among many other things. Currently, I have a yankee candle burning on our counter as I write this and the picture is from two mornings ago on All Saints Sunday as our congregation lit these candles in remembrance of people who had passed away. It was deeply moving to see nearly every person in worship come to light a candle.
So much of Mark 14 likely took place just by the light of candles or torches. The Passover, Jesus sharing the bread and cup, the arrest in the garden, and Peter’s denials…all illuminated by the light of the fires. In this case in Mark, the candles illuminated the story of the final day of Jesus before his crucifixion. I also feel that the candlelight could also serve as an element of resistance – light shine in in the darkness, hope that will overcome fear, forgiveness that will overcome sin. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.