Back to normal (10-01-2023)
Reading (John 1:1-14)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Like most people Rob and I spent part of last weekend taking down our Christmas decorations. It didn’t feel as if they had been up very long, but down they came anyway, all apart from our Christmas cards. Due to the postal strikes we have been experiencing some of our Christmas cards had not arrived until the end of last week, so it felt far too soon to be taking them down as they had only been up a day or two. So although all the other decorations and lights have been taken down in our house the cards are all still there.
One of my sisters-in-law likes to take all her Christmas decorations down on Boxing Day, the moment that Christmas Day is over, she likes to clear it all away as soon as she can. I have noticed, as I have been driving about, how the number of outdoor Christmas lights have been decreasing particularly since January 1st. and by the end of this week I don’t expect there will be any Christmas lights still on show, brightening up our dark evenings.
I have heard it said several times on the radio and television that now that Christmas is over, everything has gone back to normal, whatever normal might actually mean. For many people the baby in the manger is nothing more than one of the decorations that is brought out for Christmas, only to be packed away again with the lights and tinsel. For Christians, the light that came down to the world at Christmas is a reality that lives with us every day of the year. The world is a dark place, we need the light of Christ more than ever.
Sometimes when we hear the news from around the world, we can feel overwhelmed by the darkness that there is all around. There is no escaping the news of war, death, poverty, injustice and hatred, but as Christians, we can cling to the message in John’s gospel when he reminds us that “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
So even with the decorations down and the Christmas lights all turned off, we know that the most important light is still working in the world and that, however much darkness there may be, his light is greater.
Light of the world, fill us today with your Spirit, so that we can be lights in the darkness.