Once more the world reels at the news of more terrorist attacks – in Paris, in Mali and now in California too; international sport is seen to be corrupt and many athletes are drugs cheats; powerful people prey on the weak – there is fraud on a massive scale, sexual crime abounds and violence appears to rule the world. And here we are in Advent – a time of waiting, a time of expectation and above all…a time of hope.
In these darkest of days, we can take heart for Light came into the world 2000 or so years ago and nothing has been able to extinguish that light. God came to earth as a human baby in Jesus, He grew, lived a blameless life and was cruelly put to death by the dark powers of the then world – powers not so very different from the evil powers at work in our own times – but, here’s the thing…Jesus rose again from the dead…our precious Light could not be put out…not then and not now! So when the news leaves you in despair, remember…God is in control and all will be put right when our Saviour comes again in His Glory. Justice and peace will reign over all the earth and the tears shall be wiped from every eye.
As we journey to Bethlehem this Advent, let us pray for all those who are suffering in this dark world of ours – those caught up in wars, those refugees fleeing conflict and having to deal with the rigours of winter on the road, those who are homeless in our own society, those who are ill and those who are lonely. Let us pray for love to rule in each heart and let us pray fervently for God’s Kingdom to come.
And in this Festive Season, may I take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy Christmas and a New Year filled with all of God’s richest blessings.