The first Christmas card that landed on my doormat this year was from a good friend. I’ve known her for many years and she always makes her own lovely cards. With her permission, I’ve included a picture of the card with its meaningful design and message: ‘He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him. But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.’ (The Message Bible)
Yesterday my husband and I took a day off in Norfolk. It was cold but bright and refreshing. However, by 4.30pm it was very dark. In front of us the sea was no longer visible, although we could hear the waves crashing on the shore, and behind us we could no longer see the flat fields of Norfolk stretching out into the distance. The darkness over the sea was broken in the distance by the lights of four ships and that over the fields by the crescent moon in the sky.
Life isn’t all sunshine. We may at times find ourselves in dark places with just a flickering light to guide us into a better place. It’s interesting though, as you walk towards the light, that light will become brighter and the way easier. That is, of course, if the light is true, as a beacon for us to walk towards. One of the descriptions of Jesus in John’s gospel (John 8:12) is ‘the light of the world’. That light, which is depicted so aptly by Graham Kendrick in the carol ‘Like a candle flame’, can flicker with a very small flame. That light gives us a choice to believe and follow it or turn away. Should we choose to turn away we might find ourselves in a more difficult, confusing and fearful place, not only within ourselves but within our circumstances. This Christmas gives us the opportunity to place our hope in, and follow, that light, either again or for the first time.