Lighten the Darkness

Bible Reading: Luke 2:22-40

Simeon’s prophecy shows that the baby Jesus was destined to be rejected. Imagine the original impact of what happened when he was presented in the Temple to be blessed. It was a painful realisation for Mary and Joseph when this righteous and devout man anticipated a tragedy.

Although this encounter enabled Simeon to depart this world in peace, we can only begin to imagine how Mary and Joseph would have felt as they left the Temple, their minds and emotions in turmoil. But Simeon saw deeper, he perceived that this child had a double destiny as the Man of Sorrows and the Man of Salvation.

But, as Jesus began his ministry, there were those who wanted his light snuffed out, those who wanted him dead. The gospel writers tell us that when he died there was darkness over the land, and (whatever happened) we readily understand the metaphor, in the same way as when Viscount Grey declared in August 1914 that the lights were going out all over Europe.

Jesus came as the Light of the World, the light which enlightens everyone who comes into the world. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. See here.

We live in dark times. The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, even though there are some hopeful signs. There’s so much uncertainty in the world and, for those of us in the UK, there are the added concerns of leaving the EU (however we voted or whatever our views). Change, even when viewed as good, can be unsettling.

There’s an old hymn that says:
Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light
Like a little candle burning in the night
In this world of darkness so let us shine
You in your small corner, and I in mine.

As we move into a New Year and an uncertain future it’s important that we encourage others, that we share light with each other, and especially the light of Jesus. We each have the potential to lighten or darken the world. Choose wisely.

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