Daily Devotion 04 June 2021

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

John 8:12 ‘Jesus the Light of the World’
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

1 Peter 2:9
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,
in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him
who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

A couple of years ago we took Robert’s grandsons to a spectacular Son et Lumière show inside York Minster, about its history. We got there early and found somewhere to sit but most people stood – a few had even brought blankets and lay on their backs on the stone floor so that they missed nothing. It was quite awe-inspiring and beautiful, I wished we could have gone again to take it all in. Other light shows I’ve been to, Miramare Castle at Trieste, and at the Parthenon in Athens, were equally spectacular, though perhaps not quite as inspirational as York Minster.

When the fashion for Son et Lumière was at its height, we saw an electrician’s van in Brighton with the name ‘Lumière and Son’ written on the side. Clever! But I bridled a bit – for me that name should belong to God and his Son alone. In the gospels Jesus says several times, “I am the light of the world.” The particular ‘I AM’ statement that I’ve quoted above was made while Jesus and a vast multitude of Jews were gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. It was one of the three major feasts each year. And one of the main ceremonies during the Feast of the Tabernacles was the ‘Illumination of the Temple.’

I read recently that for this, four enormous stands were set up in the Temple Court of the Women; they each held four golden bowls. These 16 golden bowls were reached by ladders and filled with oil. They used the old clothes of the priests for wicks. When those huge lamps were lit at night, their light shone all over Jerusalem. The great blaze lit up every courtyard in the city, and it burned all night long. It was the next morning, when that man-made fire began to flicker and die, that Jesus made his statement, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

When I was a child we often sang, “Jesus bids us shine like a pure clear light”, a hymn probably many of you know.

“Jesus bids us shine then for all around.
Many kinds of darkness in this world abound
Sin and want and sorrow, so we must shine
You in your small corner, and I in mine.”

 

Prayer:

Almighty God,
You are our light
and with you there is no darkness at all.
Yet in our broken world,
we see so much darkness around us.
Pain, sickness, disease and sorrow are in our community and in many of our homes.
Bring your light and your restoring presence to the dark places in our lives.
Bring your hope to hearts that feel defeated. Bring your love and compassion to those in pain. Give us your light so that we may shine.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2021 Ann Caffyn.
Image freely available online.
Hymn words no longer in copyright.

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All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356