Daily Devotion 06 January 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 1: 5-9
All creation took place through the word, and none took place
without him. In him was life, and this life was the light of
humankind. The light still shines in the darkness
and the darkness has never put it out.

Isaiah 9: 2
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

John 12: 44-50
Jesus said “I have come into the world as light,
so that no one who believes in me need remain in the dark.”

Many find darkness threatening – a small child fearing what terrors darkness may hold, may ask for a light to be left on as he settles down to sleep. In the story of creation God’s Spirit moved over the darkness, the chaos, and declared “Let there be light”. Jesus came bringing light that chases away the dark chaos in our lives. Light exposes the dust, the things we would rather hide. When the light of Jesus enters our life it shows up the grubby areas. It shows things as they are, stripping away our disguises, revealing our weaknesses. But that light is also a guiding light, dispelling uncertainty – illuminating the path ahead. Was it back in the 1970s we experienced many power cuts? I recall always having a torch, a candle and a box of matches close to hand in case we were suddenly plunged into darkness. Strike a match in the dark, and immediately light dispels that darkness.

Jesus spoke of himself as the ‘true light’, shining in all the dark places of our lives, of the world’s life, both then and down through all the centuries since. Risen, he charged his disciples with spreading the good news that no longer need they stumble along alone when life seems overwhelming. He would be with them and all believers, accompanying them in every moment of life. They were to go into all the world sharing this great news that God loved and cared, bringing light in those places and to those who so desperately needed good news. That commission is handed down to us: we must do all we can to let others see the light of God as it still shines today in a world of those who live in darkness. Times are proving very dark just now as many face acute loneliness, loss of jobs, fears for their health, or grieve for loved ones. Poverty, homelessness, mental health issues, fear of what the future holds – so many are groping along in the dark, unaware of the True Light shining for all to support and bring comfort.

God is calling each of us to be lights in the world, spreading his love to the people we meet by our caring. Today, a friendly wave (since it’s hard to detect a smile hidden behind a mask) phone calls, a cheering card – all these little things continue to be ways to bring light into a world going through very dark times. Can we show that there is no need to despair for this is God’s world and in Jesus we have light to banish the darkness. One day these difficult times will be behind us. Meanwhile we can be sure that God is with us, this and every day. All will be well.

Prayer:

Loving God, may we trust your love to support us, your power to enable us, and your light to guide us in a world of confusion and chaos. Amen.

Lord, make us instruments of your peace:
where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
(Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi)

Reflection © 2021 Hazel Blake.
Image freely available online.

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