Rest beside the weary road (28-12-2020)
Carol It came upon the midnight clear (Edmund Sears 1810-1876)
… And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow:
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing.
2020 has been a long and tough journey, and there are still many uncertainties as we go into next year.
Our reading for today comes from the opening of John’s Gospel. It reminds us that as we look back, we see God at the beginning of all things, and as we look forward we see a light that can never be put out.
Reading (John 1:1-5)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Reflection (by The Reverend Kate Bottley)
Except for a Boxing Day ramble, I try to avoid going for a walk. But somehow I found myself doing the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in 2016. I soon developed a loathing for my rucksack. It was heavy. So heavy.
Eventually I worked out that standing near a fence I could allow the weight to be taken from my shoulders for a moment, until I was ready to trudge onwards.
Life’s path is never easy, and this year it’s felt all uphill and the rucksacks on our backs too heavy to carry. Our carol today sums this up, urging us to remember that despite everything God’s love, revealed through the baby in the manger, is present, even if just now, it’s difficult to comprehend. It’s the same unquenchable light mentioned in today’s reading, too: the light of life.
When our walk becomes weary, it helps to know that we never need to take a step of it alone. And to trust that, when we do eventually get to lay our burden down, the view will make it all worthwhile.
Is there something you can do today to bring rest to an unresolved issue from last year?
Or to bring light to a matter which faces you in the year ahead?
God of life, you are the beginning and the end.
You hold our past and light our future.
May we find our rest in you today and trust you for all that will be.