Here comes the light

Staff_team_2015 Posted by Roger Cooke on Tue, 22 Dec 2015 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

For those of us living in the Ireland, today is the ‘shortest day’ of the year – the day with the fewest minutes of sunlight or, to put it another way, the day with most darkness. Further north, in parts of the Arctic Circle, the sun won’t be rising at all today, or indeed for a few days. In the Alaskan town of Barrow, the sun last set in mid-November and won’t rise until the end of January. That’s a lot of darkness.

For the 4000 people living in Barrow, for all of us who current rise in darkness and return from work in darkness, however, things start to change today; we’re turning the corner! We have absolute confidence that more light is coming, that the darkness will gradually diminish. Not a bad day to reflect on Advent themes of hope and light!

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

As a CMSI staff team, we’re very aware of the current turmoil in Burundi and the possibility of an escalation in civil conflict there. We’ve heard some horrific stories from South Sudan and DR Congo in recent weeks – places where darkness and evil still seem so prevalent. In Nepal, a blockade of supplies by India has brought the country to a standstill and has led to untold suffering for those whose lives had already been uprooted by the earthquakes.

But in the darkness, there is light. Our Global Partners have been sharing God’s love, offering help, providing a source of hope. The light of Christ is shining in the darkness, changing lives.

Closer to home, we’ve heard and experienced plenty of sad news and bad news. There has been sickness, suffering and grief in our families. There has been turmoil in our churches and brokenness in our communities. And yet, there is hope of something bigger, something better, something beyond what we know now. There is light in the midst of darkness.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Advent reminds us – and our partners testify to the fact – that there is darkness in our world, but that in this darkness, there is the potential for Christ’s light, his hope, to shine all the more brightly. You and I are called to be bringers of light, to shine like stars and offer something that dispels the darkness.

On this darkest of days, let us celebrate the light by sharing God’s love wherever we find darkness and despair.

Keep shining!

Roger

For further inspiration on this theme, have a listen to this recent Thought for the Day from BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme.

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