Lighting a candle, who knew it could be so hard!

No matches……

I am so enjoying lighting candles in this season of Advent. Candles speak to me of light and hope and life. They are so calming!

So I went to light a candle this morning, and I had run out of matches. That seems like a small thing, but the thing was it had enormous emotional overtones too. For about 30 years ago, my late husband Colin bought a batch of boxes of matches. In his usual exuberant way, he bought 30 boxes at a time. And we have been using these boxes of Cook’s matches over all this time. But today, when I went to look, the last one has gone, and I can’t find any more. It is another link with him that is gone.

December is such a poignant month. So many symbols of hope and love, families coming together, concerts and nativity plays, and the reverence and joy of Christmas services, and the celebration of the birth of our Lord.

Yet at the same time, you miss the people who aren’t there, you think of old memories, you feel an ache of what is missing. The shadow side of it all, that is often unspoken.

I am going to have to go out and buy new matches. I might shed a few tears, for life seems to be moving on, and I have no choice but to go with it. A little thing in the universal scheme of things, but such incidents affect so many bereaved people. And so we listen to each other’s stories, and weep together, even in the unlikeliest of places.

Gracious God, You are our Creator, and You have made this universe and planet to be good and beautiful. Yet there is a season for all things, and along with enjoying what is lovely, we are saddened by death and loss. Lord Jesus, be our light and shine in the darkness. Little things can have such resonance. We feel the pain, but know that life cannot stand still. Hope spirit, breath new life and energy into us, comfort us, and give us courage to move on, for Jesus sake, Amen.

There is still light in the sky….

Still hope…..

I was driving a few weeks ago, and it got suddenly very dark. I was on narrow country roads, and then there was a diversion. The rain was heavy, the roads were flooded, and even with  the high speed movement of the windscreen wipers, it was difficult to see. It was a very disorientating evening, and I wondered if I would ever arrive.

The thing that helped, was that there was still a little light in the sky. It was just a narrow band but it made all the difference. It orientated me in the midst of the twists and turns, and helped me keep my bearings.

Life seems so difficult these days, so much harshness in our society, health worries and concerns about how to keep a roof over our heads. Sometimes it can seem very dark.

I love the season of Advent, and the lighting of that first candle, however fragile and flickering. It just seems like a statement that there is still light and hope and love in the world. Even if we feel we are sitting in darkness just now, somewhere the light still shines. Whether we are wrestling with low mood, anxiety or sadness, God’s love is still our Guide.

In John chapter I verse 5 it says; the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness could not put it out’ Whatever we might be struggling with today, there is always hope, and possibilities of forgiveness and new beginnings. May we find courage to believe.

Gracious God, sometimes the world seems so dark, with conflict and ugliness and greed. It is easy to lose hope, and to despair of things getting better. Lord Jesus, thankyou for the Advent message of Your coming into the world as a vulnerable baby, revealing the very nature of God, and your promise to one day come back. Holy spirit, reveal to us more of the light, and may that light diminish our darkness, and help us find our path. Thankyou that there is always some light in the sky, in Jesus name, Amen.