Last night we had a power cut… no electricity from 7.00 until 9.30… no television, no internet connection. Candles are very pretty, but not very good for reading…
I remembered the beautiful old Anglican prayer found in their service of Evensong:
Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
This prayer reminds us:
There is darkness. Last night we knew that physical darkness is real. A friend has macular degeneration. With deteriorating eyesight she knows about increasing darkness.
International war, national unrest, local crime… we live in dark times. Friends suffering with mental ill-health, battling with financial worries, oppressed by bereavement… living in and with darkness.
In darkness there are dangers and perils. In films bad things often happen when it’s dark – the robbery, the ghost, the murder. We tell our children about the dangers of walking home in the dark late at night.
Friends who live with darkness suffer with fear, loneliness, abuse, rejection, guilt, depression… dangers and perils.
There is light in the darkness. Light can shine into darkness. Day always follows night. There is light at the end of the tunnel – even if a few bends sometimes prevent us from seeing it.
Friends who have lived through dark times appreciate the light. Although for some the darkness doesn’t full go away there is light in their darkness.
It’s God who brings the light:
- God’s first command in creation was: ‘Let there be light.’
- The ancient prophet, often quoted at Christmas, said: ‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light…’
- Jesus said: ‘I am the light of the world.’
- The final vision of heaven: ‘There will be no more night… for the Lord God will give them light.’
For now though we have darkness… literal, mental, spiritual power cuts…my prayer continues…’Lighten our darkness we beseech you O Lord…’