It almost that time of year again when the clocks change in the U.K. And it means that it will start to get dark by 5.0 o’clock in the afternoon. And I think I can speak for most parrots based in the U.K. and say ‘we don’tlike it!’ What’s the point of having wonderful fluorescent plumage if it’s too dark for humans to admire you properly? And with the darkness comes coldness which means I’ll have to spend a lot more time fluffing up on my perch. Then I’ll probably think back to those wonderful days of Summer when my friends, the Swallows, darted backwards and forwards across sun-drenched skies.
But then I have to ask myself this question: “Would I ever notice the brightness of the Summer sun if we had no darkness in this world?”
Some years ago, my owner discovered the entrance to an old Greensand mine near where he used to live in Surrey. So one day, equipped with a torch, he ventured in and explored. Inside, it was like turning back the pages of history. There was graffiti carved into the walls dating back to the time of Queen Victoria. There were old mushroom beds which had been cultivated during the Second World War, and deep into the complex, he came across railway lines where pit ponies had once pulled laden trucks. At this point, for a bit of a dare, he turned his torch off to see how dark it would be. And he quickly discovered it was the darkest place that he’d ever experienced. There was no daylight, no moonlight, no artificial light; there was nothing except for an all-enveloping inky blackness.
Very sadly, that’s how some humans live out their lives. For whatever reason, they blunder and muddle their way through life without ever really knowing where they’re going or what they’re doing. They are like lost souls because they haven’t yet discovered the light of Jesus. Without Jesus, we can so easily feel that we’re deep inside a mine without a torch. We can become lost, stuck, helpless, frightened and full of despair. That’s how it must have been for everyone here on Earth before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
So it’s hardly surprising that so much imagery is used in the Gospels to describe Jesus as “The Light of the World.”
This Jesus who can be our Summer sun in the middle of Winter. Our hope in the midst of despair. Our loyal friend when all else has deserted us. Jesus can be our candle flame, our light switch, our hand torch or our Summer sun if we only allow Him into our lives.
Some of you will know that we had a family bereavement last month. Dear old Nanna who lived on the other side of the house, finally passed away. And of course, losing someone you love is a terribly sad thing. I used to fly across to see her every single morning. But you know, the light of Jesus was shining in our house and in our hearts all of the time. And it made an extraordinary difference. Because we’re all certain that Nanna is now in a much better place and where she needs to be. And knowing that fact makes all the difference.
We’ll all have times of darkness in our lives. But we must also know this. That after every night-time there will be another dawn. And after every Winter there will be another Spring and Summer. After death, we’ll be offered new life. Jesus will never abandon us. The question is whether we will ever abandon Him? The most precious light is the one that shines in our darkest hour. And Jesus will always be that light…
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5).
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12b).
“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5).
So, I may not like the Winter, but I shall focus on the Spring.
I may not like the cold, but I’ll be warmed by Jesus’ love.
And I may not like the darkness but I’ll hold fast to His Light…