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As I write this letter we are quickly approaching that mad and frenetic time of year – Christmas. Prior to this we have the lead up period of preparation which in the church is known as Advent. Traditionally at this time we have used imagery of looking for the light, seeking the light of Christ through the darkness of winter.
Winter this year has been slow in coming, the temperature has been slow to drop though the rain certainly hasn’t. The leaves have remained on many of the trees longer than usual despite the winds. So we could say that winter hasn’t really set in as it might. Perhaps we haven’t really noticed the decline in the amount of light around us, or have we?
Light is essential for growth, we can’t do without light. For many people the lack of sunlight causes great emotional distress so in fact light is essential for all of God’s creation to flourish. We use light in many ways in religious practice. We light candles to remember God’s presence with us, we light candles to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world and that he lights our paths, we light candles as a sign of prayer, we light candles to remember our loved ones departed and we light candles in celebration. The bringing of light into a situation is extremely important and uplifting both in its religious significance and its social significance.
At this time of the year as we enter Advent, the preparation period, we are moving towards that great celebration of the birth of Jesus, God in human form, who brought light into a very dark world. We celebrate this season by lighting up our houses with a variety of decorations and as we do so may we think about the lighting up of our world by the baby in the manger, who brought God’s love into the world directly to each one of us and in doing so lights each one of us up with his love. As we dash headlong into this season, with all that it brings, let us just pause for a moment of wonder and be lit up with the reason for the season, Jesus the light of the world.
May I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year.
Every blessing, Rev Cate