7th February 2024

A friend has just asked me if I’d like to see the window wanderland with her (Chandos, Bristol – Window Wanderland). Individual households light up their windows or gardens with colourful displays, bringing a sense of cheerfulness and fun to otherwise largely deserted cold, dark winter streets! There’s a bit of a buzz as people venture out, away from their individual TV screens, and together enjoy the creativity of their neighbours.

Is there some sort of innate human longing for light in the darkness? I’m thinking of Christmas lights, New Year’s Eve fireworks, gathering around a campfire, candle light spreading through a church as Easter Sunday begins.

Listening to some songs from the Taizé community I was struck by the recurrent theme of God as our light: “Dans nos obscrurités, allume le feu qui ne s’éteint jamais” (Within our darkest night, you kindle a fire that never dies away; www.youtube.com).  Then there was “The Lord is my light, my light and salvation, in Him I trust” and “Stay with us oh Lord Jesus Christ, night will soon fall, then stay with us oh Lord Jesus Christ, light in our darkness”, just in one collection of songs.

Ruth Rice, director of “Renew Wellbeing”, shared a reflection on “Praise Him, all you shining stars” (Psalm 148). We only see the stars when it’s dark. The darkness cannot extinguish light, in fact light shows up more in the dark. Ruth continues: “You shining stars… He knows you by name not number. He is the source of light, the source of renewable wellbeing. Keep gazing at Him. Keep shining brightly. Keep praising Him.”

Ruth Allen