There seems to be so much darkness at the moment. I can’t remember another year quite like this one. Over the last couple of months the news has been a procession of sadness and fear. As we approach Advent i’m certainly on board with its themes of longing for hope and looking for the coming light.
In the face of atrocities which have suddenly and unexpectedly affected the lives of so many innocent and ordinary people I have found myself being reminded of the temporary nature of our time on this Earth in the starkest of ways. However, as a follower of Christ I know that however overwhelming the darkness may seem we are never without hope.
‘All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.’ – This quote, found in ‘The Little Flowers’ a collection of works by St Francis of Assisi reminds us that even in the most difficult of times we are not left totally desolate. As we consider the quote further we realise that quite to the contrary, it is in the moments of greatest darkness that the light which remains seems at it’s brightest as it stands in contrast to all its surroundings.
I am, of course, looking forward to Christmas but that’s not the only exciting event this December. This month will also see the release of a new Star Wars film. I loved the original trilogy and am thrilled that my son, Owen has now discovered them in a big way! One of my favourite parts of the original trilogy was always the wisdom of the old Jedi master Yoda. Perhaps a quote of his stands as a good response to the climate of fear certain groups would seek to create, ‘Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Angers leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.’
Let us not be drawn into further division by the prevalent darkness of recent events but strive in all things to find a greater sense of ‘oneness’. This year as we journey together through the promise of Advent there may be for us a heightened sense of longing in our preparations. As we strive to make ready for the coming light may we be ready to reflect that light further into our broken world.
I wish you peace as you prepare once more to welcome Christ this Christmas.