“The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

These words were written towards the end of the first century AD and form part of the Prologue to St John’s Gospel that is always read in Anglican liturgical celebrations on Christmas Eve. Advent like Lent is a time of waiting. It is a period when we celebrate the Incarnation, God made man in the Jesus, the infant king born in a manger.  It is also a time when we ough to spend time refecting upon the Theotokos, Mary the God Bearer. The story of Mary always seems to be presnted in such matter of fact terms as to almost turn her into an unthinking robot.

The story off the Incarnation rolls of the tongue and through our minds consciouness and mostly withput stirring the very choppy waters in which it evolved. Have we ever seriously considered the emotional and psychological anguish that must have beeen part of her experience in her “Yes” to God in the words, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord.” In her period of expectancy there were probably periods of what one might term “darkness”; what I might refer to as faithful uncertainty. But the Light continued to shine, to grow and to come to full fruition on that first Nativity of Our Lord; carefully nurtured by Mary full of grace with the nearness loving tenderness of Joseph her faithful and trusting husband.

In our own time there is much in political and international life that may make us feel uncertain and indeed very fearful. On the worls stage there aare forces that are powerful and frightening. But for Christians our Faith tells us that “The light continues to shine even when all around it is darkness and despair.  The period of Advent reflects this as the days become shorter and as nature retreats into their winter dormancy. It is no coincidence that the Church has chosen this period to celebrate the birth of the Saviour, The Light coming into the world and never ever being extinguished or overshadowed.

I do wish everyone a very blessed and holy Christmas and for we who follow the Light of the World as best we can, that peace and genuine hopefulness that truly passes all understanding.

The Vicar