Do you like the darkness? When I was a child, I found it terrifying. My vivid imagination meant shapes on the back of the door became monsters and kept me awake. The inky power of the night felt very difficult and often oppressive. I still find the lack of light in winter time a challenge, and living in a ‘dark village’, with so few lights can make the nights seem long. However, there are some advantages. Looking at the night sky brings new discoveries as I consider the power of the stars so far away, shining so brightly in the darkness.
Light and darkness are powerful, competing sources. In the famous prologue to his gospel, John writes that Jesus was the “light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not overcome it”. John says that the light of Jesus is stronger than the darkness of humanity.
Jesus declared himself “the light of the world” later in John’s gospel, adding, “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life”. This is another powerful statement. Not only was the light of Christ something which could not be extinguished, but Jesus was saying that it was possible for others to have the light of life too. That light of life was eternal connection in love with God the Father, possible through the death of Jesus.
These are tough times. These days of darkness are mirrored in the news around Covid and lack of personal freedom that many find at the moment. Jesus’ words and invitation to follow him provide a reminder that the Christian life can hold treasures for us, even in difficult times. The love of God cannot be overcome by anything, not even Covid, and it’s ours to find refuge in. We just need to look up.
So next time you’re out, don’t forget to look up at the night sky and see the lights which shine so brightly. The light always wins.