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advent candles 750pb

The light shines in the darkness

Philip Young urges us to remember how much God loves us as we light our Advent candles this year.

I wonder whether anyone has wished you a Happy New Year yet? Most of those greetings will come in January, but for Christians, the new year begins on Advent Sunday at the end of November. There are four Sundays in Advent, and they are a time of waiting, and longing expectation, for the coming of Jesus our Saviour.
I love this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere as the nights get longer and the darkness deepens. We wait for the coming of the light and of the return of longer days after the Winter Solstice, which is usually on December 21.
The world finds itself in a dark place. The COVID-19 virus has not finished with us yet and climate events bring increased floods and fire to God’s beautiful creation. We have much to fear, and yet, as Christians, we believe that always the light of Christ is stronger than the darkness, and that the love of God has conquered all the evil, hatred, and destruction in the world. As we light our Advent candles we renew our hope that ‘God is love’ and that ‘There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God’ (see Romans 8:29).
The Good News is that God loves us from the beginning until the end. He loves us too in the middle of those dark places we find ourselves in. He loves us too after the end of our earthly life. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus shows us just how much we are loved.
As we prepare to celebrate the coming of Jesus at Christmas time, let's put our hope and trust in a God who loves us. Then we can truly wish each other a Happy New Year whenever we choose to do so.
Have a joyful time and let's spread the light and joy of Jesus this Christmas, but remember all those who are still in a dark place. Let us celebrate with the Apostle John who wrote, The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.’ (John 1:5)

The photo of the earth is courtesy of pixabay.com

Philip Young June 2014Philip is an Anglican, Quaker, and a member of the Third Order of Franciscans, and now lives in Felixstowe. Until July 2014 he was the Diocesan Environmental Officer for the Norwich Diocese. In June 2017 he stood as an Independent Candidate for the General Election in the Suffolk Coastal Constituency.  He is now Associate Priest at St. John and St. Edmund in Felixstowe and a freelance writer on spiritual and political matters. He is available to run Quiet Days, give talks, presentations or to preach and can be contacted at philipyoung@btinternet.com. Philip is developing a new website www.revolutionoflovenow.com.


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Mary Williams (Guest) 07/12/2021 11:08
Thank you for that reflection and message of hope Philip. That text is worth holding on to. I always find the dark, shortening days of November very difficult. However, once we are into December, preparations for Christmas, and the promise of renewal lift my Spirit. I have concluded that as humans, whatever we believe about the Christmas story, we need this time to renew the light and love within us, and share this with others. Sending love and good wishes to you and Anne.

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