Day 7: The Light Shines

| Advent 2017

'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’
(John 1:5)

I love the service of Nine Lessons and Carols, instilled by a truly brilliant music director at school, who somehow managed to inspire dozens of boys to sing loudly and crisply despite wearing cassocks and surplices in the dry and stifling Australian summer. John’s words are ones I associate with order, yet John writes them in describing creation and order being made out of chaos and so it seems to me that they are relevant to us in 2017.

At times this year it's seemed that the darkness has actually overshadowed the light. Did John get it wrong? Is it in fact the darkness that has overcome the light?

In the very moment of chaos and destruction, we have the ability to bring order, light, life and hope. Chris Martin’s lyrics, 'you get lighter the more it gets dark’, can be our prayer. The one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world.

George Whitfield said that, "Every place is alike to those who have the presence of God with them". Do we really believe that? Everybody knows what it's like to be in a room and, when an uptight and anxious person enters it, the atmosphere changes. When people with the light of Jesus enter the room, the atmosphere changes for the better. We may feel inadequate, we may feel like our light isn't very bright, and we may also be painfully aware of the darkness within us too. All the while Jesus is a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He took on our darkness, uncensored and unfiltered, and although he was without sin, became sin. He's the one that we can come to with darkness and pain.

I love how in art light often defines things. In his prologue John tells us that we are children of God, and Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world. We have a calling to live as light, in our jars of clay, to show that this light and power is not from us but from God. As we live this calling, depending on God, we find that the darkness is overshadowed by the greater reality of light. Darkness simply cannot last. Let's step into that calling today. Let there be light.

We’re having not one but two Carols by Candlelight services this coming Sunday, 10th December, at 5pm and 7pm. It’s an amazing opportunity to invite friends and family to experience this light (by candlelight!)

Jamie Mulvaney

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