Monday, December 22, 2014

Looking Forward to December 24, 2014

This Wednesday is Christmas Eve.  And we have two services.

At the first service (6:30) we will hear Linus share the Christmas story, as so many of us grew up hearing him tell it after Charlie Brown asked if anyone could tell him what Christmas was all about.  Then we will hear about A Candle for Christmas and the children (with help from their parents) will be invited to make themselves a paper bag lantern.

Our other service is at 8:00.

We will have Scripture and music, lots of music, and will close with candles and the singing of Silent night in a darkened room.  The handbells will play, there will be a duet between piano and organ, both Junior and Senior Choirs will sing.

The Scripture Readings for this service are:
  • Isaiah 9:2-7
  • Luke 2:1-20
The Christmas Reflection is called Light in the Darkness

Early Thoughts: One of the images used at Christmas is the counterpoint of light versus darkness.  Admittedly it is one the images that makes the most sense in Northern latitudes.  As the days grow short and the world gets darker we put up coloured lights and light candles and talk about the Light of the World being born.

This image is one I have been doing a lot of looking at this Advent season.  Darkness as an image is used for many things.  Many people, at some time in their lives, are afraid of the Dark.  Darkness conceals, you don't always know what lurks out in the shadows.  In both the Lord of the Rings and in Harry Potter the enemy is called the Dark Lord. And in both stories the world gets darker and darker as the story progresses--until the darkness is overcome (it gets harder and harder to watch the Harry Potter movies on our TV because they literally get so dark we can hardly see anything).  And let us be honest, there are plenty of reasons to see the world as a dark (and potentially getting darker) place in 2014.  Our news headlines have not always been the most joyful place have they?

But in the midst the dark world we have a strange star in the Scriptural sky, we have the glory of angel choirs, we have the light shining from the manger.

Undoubtedly there are hazards of the dark/light dichotomy.  It has fed into many unhelpful, unfortunate, and unloving descriptions of people.  And since darkness is part of the creation of which God says "it is good" we do it a disservice to always think of shadow and darkness as points of fear.  But it is a powerful image.  SO what does it mean to us in the here and now?

And if we are people who walk in a time of great darkness, how is light shining on us?  And might we learn something from the darkness?

Lots of possible directions for a short(ish) reflection.  Where will I end up?  SOme and find out!

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