Light & Heat

I sometimes prefer to light candles on my desk rather than use an electric light. Similarly, I have a couple of Victorian oil lamps which I employ, also. Friends insist that I use these older methods of lighting on account of parsimony, which I deny, though it is true that in these days of rising energy bills, honest men must look to their purses before switching on a bar of the electric fire. Norweb’s coffers must already be swollen on account of what I send it each month. Yet the candles and oil lamps have an advantage other than circumventing the electric meter: they generate heat as well as light. So effective are they that I need not light the fire nor wear a gown at the desk. Light and heat- that is what I require as I sit at my table poring over a book or gazing into the laptop.

Churches in Britain often seem to choose light or warmth, as though the two were mutually exclusive. Some offer warm welcome, have pleasant seating, reach out wonderfully, and do their uttermost to bless the poorest. Yet from their pulpits and podia their doctrine is weak, their foundation wobblesome and their teaching elementary. Others preach aright, rightly dividing the word of God, and frequently devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching. Nevertheless, their love is cold, their hearts sterile and their sense of fellowship is like shaking hands with a marble statue. Must we choose between the two? Cannot we shed light and share warmth? May we not preach truth and offer grace?