If there is one thing, above everything else, that for me heralds the arrival of winter, it is altering the clocks. The dark evenings and the nights drawing in seem to close everything down, as our lives resemble the world outside our drawn curtains.
For some of us the physical darkness can also pitch us into a time of emotional darkness, and for all of us there are times in our lives when disappointment or sadness seems to envelop our souls in a cloak of darkness.
It is in these times of darkness, whether they are physical, emotional or spiritual, that it is good to remind ourselves that Jesus came as the light of the world. A light that, as we so often read about at Christmas, shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put it out (John 1:5).
The challenge for all of us, though, is to let this light shine out of us and bring light to others who also walk in some form of darkness. For not only did Jesus say ‘I am the light of the world’, he also said ‘You are the light of the world’ (Matthew 5:1). Each of us in who has received the light of Christ into our lives becomes a light that can illuminate someone else’s path.
And we don’t have to be anything special for this to happen. The singer songwriter Leonard Cohen wrote ‘There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’ and St Paul wrote ‘We have this treasure in jars of clay, that the all-surpassing power is from God and not from us’. God’s grace is such that he is pleased to let his light shine into the cracked pots that are our lives, and for that light to then shine out of our cracked pots into the world around us. The only proviso seems to be that we continue to keep the light of God alive in our hearts. In a parable about servants waiting for their master to return, Jesus urges us to keep our lamps burning (Luke 12:35). We do this by continually coming to God to receive forgiveness for the things we do wrong and to be filled afresh with his Holy Spirit.
Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16)
Theophilus is the guy for whom Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. (Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1) Theophilus means ‘Lover of God’ so, if you love God, it was written for you!