The light shines in the darkness10/12/20
It was lovely hearing Mr Holland record his favourite passage of scripture, John 1:1-16 for our virtual Carol Service this year (available to view next week on the school website). Verse 5 says, “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
We have all experienced a ‘dark’ and difficult 2020. The impact of Corvid 19, social isolation, sickness, job losses, Brexit and more are not over yet, though to coin a phrase, there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, at least as far as Corvid 19 is concerned anyway. Many people are feeling very low, and depression is often likened to a heavy, dark blanket weighing one down. When I walk into a room and put on a light, the darkness vanishes, the scary shadows flee and the room is filled with light and colour. Consider the morning sun banishing the long, dark night and flooding the world with joy. In light, there is life, warmth, safety and vision.
People are longing for the ‘light’ of a brighter tomorrow…and there is hope!
Today marks the first day of Hanukkah, the Jewish ‘Festival of Lights’ and this year we notice that more houses have Christmas lights up than ever before. We long for light, yet when January comes and the Christmas lights are switched off and the dark winter days linger, there is one Light that remains… one Light that the darkness can never extinguish.
Jesus said, ‘I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ John 8:12. Indeed right at the beginning of time, God spoke into darkness and chaos and said, “Let there be Light.” God is still in the business of bringing light, life and order into our dark situations through His Son, Jesus Christ.
That first Christmas 2000 years ago, into a cruel, oppressed world, the night was pierced when the Light of the World was born. John 1:12 says, “To those that receive Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” Jesus longs to be born into each of our hearts this Christmas, to bring his light to our darkness, to give assurance, peace and hope.
Undoubtedly, there are still difficult days ahead, but let us remember the dark days Jesus’ friends experienced when they thought that the Light of the World had been extinguished by a cruel Roman cross. The Light of the World can never be extinguished, Jesus triumphed over death and offers hope for each one of us! Better days are coming. As the Psalmist said, “Tears may linger at nightfall, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.
It was King George VI who, in the crises of World War Two, reminded us of the quote from the poem, ‘The Gate of the Year’ by Minnie Haskins - ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.’ So as we step out into an uncertain future, let us hold the hand of what is certain, Jesus Christ, the Light of the World who guides our steps, lights our path and brings hope to the world.
Maybe light a candle and spend a few quite moments, reflecting on God’s eternal light, the hope we have in Him, the future He has for you and of His amazing love for each of us. God bless you.