THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS

Reading: John 1:1-9

I have been thinking about the new mantra: “light at the end of the tunnel” along with Christmas and New Year hopes. There is promising news of vaccines that may help to prevent covid infections. We all welcome this good news and hope they will be effective and available to everyone. We give thanks for all those who work so hard to keep us all safe.

We are mindful of all those who are not well and need support, and those who have died.

2020 has been a difficult year for us all. Many, including people very close to me, have had very painful experiences in matters of illness and of grief.

Then there are all the politics around Brexit.

Light at the end of the tunnel?

The Christmas message insists “the light shines IN the darkness” (John 1:5). These words express the vision and hope of a small band of Jesus’ earliest followers. They were in a kind of lockdown (John 20:19). They were few, lived in fear, and wondered what the future held.

The Christmas story calls us to re-examine the way we speak of darkness. It insists that the greatest illuminations are found in situations that may be described in terms of darkness, and where darkness is profound.

Here we discern the light that enlightens everyone and everything, and learn that darkness and light are both alike in God (Psalm 139:12). 

We are living in extraordinary times of illumination in the midst of our personal situations, local realities and global events. The key lesson being learned is that decisions are more likely to be correct if you start by focussing on, and asking, where the hurt is deep, and who is the most vulnerable?

Not Caesar on a throne, armed to the teeth, but the helpless baby in the manger, soon a child refugee in Egypt and in danger, reveals the path to salvation.

Look here for the light that shines in the darkness, and enlightens everyone.

We are called to point to this light, wherever we are.

A Prayer:

Holy God,

You are with us at all times and in all places,

even when we cry with Jesus and the Psalmist, and others,

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.

To you are known all our hurts and all our hopes.

To you our hearts are open, and all our desires are known.

Uphold us in our brokenness by your grace and love.

Illuminate us, our place and our pathway, in the light and in the dark.

Strengthen us that we may reflect your light,

And reveal your presence and love.

Amen

Inderjit Bhogal

Christmas 2020/ New Year 2021

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