November in Britain seems a very cheerless month of the year to me as darkness descends in the late afternoon seeming to rob us of a full day. It is easy to see how some people talk of depression coming from the lack of light. But I remember the first time I went to Norway. When we landed at Oslo airport it was completely dark and very cold. What a surprise it was to walk into the airport terminal building! Everywhere was bright and beautiful, glowing with warmth and light. I learnt that Norwegians chase away winter darkness with hundreds of candles. They are everywhere, even outside in gardens. I realised then that a simple candle not only brings light, so that we can see, but also beauty and warmth.
I think of the words of Jesus: ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). Why would we want to walk in darkness when we can enjoy being in the light? There is so much darkness all around us, darkness of depression, of hopelessness, of illness and pain, and all kinds of suffering.
I suppose the answer is that while we are ignorant we have no way of stepping out of darkness into the light.
The apostle Paul heard about the Gentiles in Colossae who had turned to Jesus in faith and he sent a letter to them telling them that he was praying for them. He said ‘ May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins’ (Colossians 1:11-14).
There is a song called ‘We are pilgrims on a journey’ and one verse says ‘I will hold the Christ light for you in the night time of your fear. I will hold my hand out to you; speak the words you long to hear’. Perhaps we can help someone to find that Jesus is the light for their life taking away their darkness of despair and bringing them into His kingdom.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus into a dark world to bring us the light we need. Thank you that there is no place too dark that it can’t be transformed by Jesus. Help us to choose to walk in His light rather than stay in darkness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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