Rev'd Philip Heak
Every now and again I delve into a book of Peanuts cartoons that I’ve had since a child. You know what they are Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
I came across this one ….
I can understand Charlie asking Lynas what he is doing.
But Lucy. Will cursing the darkness do any good. “You stupid darkness.”
It would be strange indeed to curse the darkness and yet not light a candle to give light.
Advent and Christmas is a strange times of year for many of us.
A time in which, as we prepare for the coming of the son of God, we often feel down, disappointed, and anxious;
2020 has exasperated this. Many are worried and anxious – understandably so.
How do we keep our family safe. Will we be able to see our families this year. Or our friends.
For many the runup to Christmas is a time in which instead of feeling joy, we feel despair,
A time in which instead of rejoicing, we fret and worry and this year is even more difficult.
To give you a personal example. Nothing too serious, but I trust that you will understand where I’m coming from.
I’m worried about the Christmas services. It’s not the safety aspect – I know that our churches are safe and that everything possible has been done to minimise any risk. Numbers in each building will be limited and the pre-bookings are going well. We’ve gallons of hand sanitiser, there is certainly no problem with ventilation or 2 m distancing and we’ve spare face masks for those who need them.
No, what worries me is the fact that we won’t be able to sing Carols. One of my sermons from a few years ago was entitled “Can you imagine a Christmas without Music.” Hey presto – we are almost there. I’m having to plan worship for Christmas without singing. It tempts me to curse the darkness,
“You stupid Covid.”
Surely there is a contradiction here ….
This is the season of good news, the season of preparing ourselves for the coming of the Lord, the season of celebration, of rejoicing, of praising God for what he has done, and what he is doing, and what he will yet do.
Singing is part of what we usually do. Nothing beats Silent night at the midnight Communion, Hark the Herald on Christmas Day- or children singing Away in a manger.
The contradiction is that Christmas will still happen even if we can’t sing.
The Good news of Jesus born on Christmas Day as Emmanuel, God with us remains true and that is something that we can rejoice in.
So really I should not be grumbling about it – I should carry on doing my best to celebrate the birth of Christ. I should just get on with it and be happy that as God’s people we are free to gather to celebrate firstly Advent and subsequently the great festival of Christmas.
The message this Sunday from both Isaiah and John the Baptist is “Prepare the way of the Lord!”
Get with it. Get an attitude! See what is really happening! Prepare ye the way for God! Look for his coming in power! Make his paths straight!
Know that the time of vindication and of peace is at hand! Rejoice and be glad – for while there is darkness in the world – there is also light, and the light is stronger than the darkness, the darkness cannot overcome it.”
There is so much good around us.
There is so much power and righteousness at hand.
What does Linas say to Charlie Brown.
It is better to light a single
candle than to curse the darkness…
A candle has been provided to us. A light has been granted unto the world, and it ‘s power is unquenchable.
God lives. God is here. And God is coming here.
You can see it in the face of a new born baby,
You can see it in the gaze of young lovers,
You can see it in the look of old married couples,
You can see it within your own hearts,when you take time to look.
God will accomplish his purpose.
The kingdom will come.
The question for us is
Will we be a part of the fulfilment of God’s purpose?
Will we light a candle?
Or will we curse the darkness?