We have just returned from a lovely holiday in Cornwall and were blessed with beautiful weather too. From our holiday home we sat out on a small veranda from where we had the most wonderful view. Beyond the holiday site we looked out onto fields where sheep, cattle and goats grazed and then beyond another field, we could see the sea. In the morning in the sunlight, it was a beautiful blue and in the evening the sun shone on it so that it appeared to be a shining golden light almost too bright to look at.
Light makes everything look so much different, whether it’s the sun sparkling on the sea or the light shining through the trees. When the sun breaks through the clouds on a cold wintry day it doesn’t just brighten our surroundings, it can also lift our spirits too as we are reminded of how different and welcome that sunlight is when we have been without it for a long time.
“Let there be light” said God at the dawn of creation. Everything needs light to grow, plants, trees, in fact all that God created needs the sunlight to live and grow. The wonderful balance of nature of rain and sunlight sustains all living things but through greed and power and just because we can, we have compromised nature to such a degree that we are seeing the climate changing in all directions, floods, unbearable heat, fires out of control.
“The true light which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” (John 1 v9). This light came into the world also at a time when everything looked hopeless for God’s people. They had lost their way and were living under the brutal regime of Roman occupation. This new light which some recognised changed lives for ever. Even though some could not or would not accept this light and sort to destroy it, it could not be destroyed, it shone all the brighter defying everything including death that was done to it. The light of Christ which we celebrate each Easter morning is the light that sustains us, helps us to grow, nourishes us and shines into every part of our being, through the difficult and desperate times in our lives, that light, that love that assurance however we understand it remains and even at the darkest times when we may feel the light has gone, it’s like the Footsteps poem the writer says, ‘during the saddest and most troubling times of my life, there were only one set of footprints’ and in the dream the Lord replies ‘my precious child… it was then that I carried you’
There was once a dark cave, deep down in the ground, underneath the earth and hidden away from view. Because it was so deep in the earth, the light had never been there. The cave had never seen light. The word ‘light’ meant nothing to the cave, who couldn’t imagine what ‘light’ might be. Then one day, the sun sent an invitation to the cave, inviting it to come up and visit.
When the cave came up to visit the sun it was amazed and delighted because the cave had never seen light before, and it was dazzled by the wonder of the experience.
Feeling so grateful to the sun for inviting it to visit, the cave wanted to return the kindness and so it invited the sun to come down to visit it sometime, because the sun had never seen darkness.
And so the day came and the sun came down and was courteously shown into the cave.
As the sun entered the cave, it looked around with great interest, wondering what ‘darkness’ would be like. Then it became puzzled, and asked the cave, ‘Where is the darkness’?