• RevShirleyMurphy

Darkness & Light



Christmas markets, Christmas dinners with friends, secret Santa, mince pies, mulled wine, carol services, and time with family and friends: these are my fondest memories of Christmas. They are what brought me joy and solace in a time of year where I often felt lonely, low and disheartened.


While people worried about the presents being just right, who is going to invite whom for Christmas dinner (and speaking of Christmas dinner, it must be perfectly cooked with approximately 17 sides for the turkey and ham), and what they would wear, I worried about the long dark nights that enveloped me into a pit of sadness, the time spent missing family and, ultimately, pining for what Christmas used to be when I was younger.


Youthful Christmases were full of exciting presents that Santa brought me, like my bicycle or trampoline, about joy, parties, and most of all family. As time marched on, our family became smaller and the presents were no longer what I wanted for Christmas. I wanted those who could no longer be there.


This year, it feels that this is what the whole nation wants for Christmas, a few days or even hours with their loved ones, whether they are Tier 1, 2 or 3, locked–down, or whether they are no longer with us at all. We are together in our desire to be with those who are apart from us.


Unfortunately, for many of us, that’s not possible. The hope and joy that we are ‘supposed’ to feel at this time of year seems harder to grasp.


I have been reminded, in this dark year, that it is in the darkest night you see the stars shine most brightly. In the depths of the dark nights, the shepherds and the Magi followed the brightest star. And it was this star that guided them to a new beginning and a new hope.

It may feel superficial in our current world, to look to the brightest star, the true shining light of Christmas – Jesus the new-born, the infant, the child. But I believe it is because of the state of the world we must look to Jesus. It is in the coming of Jesus we find a new beginning, a new life, and a renewed hope. Jesus, the brightest star in the darkest night helps us to fix our eyes on the future with an expectant hopefulness that comes with the morning light.


Sources

Light in the Darkness: Exploring the Path of Christian Hope - Peter Sills

The Divine Heart of Darkness: Finding God in the Shadows - Catherine Bird

Hannah Waite - https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/

The Promise and the Light: A Christmas Retelling - Katy Morgan

A Flicker of Light - Katie Powner

In This Light: Thoughts for Christmas - Justin Welby

Blue Christmas: Devotions of Light in a Season of Darkness - Todd Outcalt

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