Light of the world


Thursday Reflection


31st December 2020


'never walk in darkness'

When Jesus spoke again
to the people,
he said,

12 "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

As we come to the end of
2020 many will be breathing
a sigh of relief,
it had certainly been a year
such as we've never
experienced before.

We've gone from our usual
free life to lock-down -
to partial freedom -
then back into semi or
full lock-down.

Shopping has been restricted;
we've been confused by the
various regulations which seem
to change with tedious regularity;
we've missed the closeness of
our friends and families;
the hugs and even hand-shakes.

For those of us who tend to be
tactile this had been quite a strain!
And this has been a year of such
enormous change and loss,
especially for those
who have lost a loved one.

If Covid-19 has taught us
anything this year,
it is that long cherished,
long held views on many things
have had to alter,
adapt, or change.

What we once considered
as normal is no longer so,
and for a vast number of us,
the anchors or chains of
relationships have been removed.

Christmas has,
and will be for its 12 days,
been stripped down to the
barest of essentials.

But it has brought us back
to basics and,
in spite of many fears,
Christmas was not cancelled;
it could not be -
for it's happened.

Whether we liked it or not
the baby was born,
God stepped down from heaven,
to touch earth and set in train
a story of salvation
that was unstoppable.

Nothing could or can stop it;
It is God's thing,
not ours and it triumphs.
Today, looking back over the year,
it might be all too easy
to focus on the dark shadows
which have marked our path
through a year about to pass.

Yet, Christ leads us back to
that point of light that shines
in our darkness.
Christmas could never be cancelled,
for its light is not dependent
on favourable conditions for
even the darkness makes
its light shine the more brightly.

Throughout this year we have found
new communities of co-operation,
more care for those less fortunate
than ourselves,
a renewed confidence in our God
who is walking beside us,
comforting, strengthening,
making whole.

Amidst every lengthening shadow,
may we never lose the light of
the Child who was born for us,
who allows us to glimpse who
we really are and discover
our deepest identity as
children of God.

As we go forward into 2021
in the face of the challenges
of a New Year to come,
may we return to the light
which first dawned in Bethlehem,
the same light which shines
for us every day through
Jesus our Saviour.

God knows

And I said to the man
who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light that
I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied:
"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 I went forth,
and finding the Hand of God,
trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills
and the breaking of day
in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God has comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
of things both high and low,
God hides His intention.

God knows.
His will is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead,
so dim to our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God.
Our fears are premature;
In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest:
Until God moves to lift
the veil from our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
of Life's stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise God's
thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

Minnie Louise Haskins
famously broadcast by
HM King George VI
as part of his 1939
Christmas broadcast:

Wishing you all a healthy,
joyful and Christ filled year.