Christmas Day – Light that can never be extinguished

There is one image that comes back over and over again at Christmastime ? the image of Christ as the Light.

When Jesus comes at Christmas it is as though a blindfold is being lifted or a light-switch flicked on. Suddenly, things become comprehensible which once made no sense. Suddenly, there is the possibility for God?s people to look forward and see where they are going instead of knowing only where they have come from.
When Christ comes, the lights go on. Whether it is the lights on the tree at home, the lights on the houses, the candles that we light in church or whatever? these lights are all symbols of one who came to light up our lives.

John says that he is the light that can never be put out. Do you remember those birthday candles that you can sometimes get ? the ones which you can blow and blow and blow and they never go out. Jesus is a bit like those lights ? nothing at all can put them out. Blow hard and the flame just springs up again.

At Christmas time, we can take the chance to stop and think about that light ? Jesus Christ coming into the world. We can ask what it is that needs to be lit up this year. What kind of darkness needs to be illuminated for us this year? Is it the dark clouds of despair or the greyness of unbelief and not knowing. What kind of darkness do we need the Lord to come to today? Poverty. Ignorance. Selfishness. These are all darknesses and each is at risk when God?s many people begin to glow in the reflected light of Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world.

In a few moments, I will be giving everyone a candle to light. If you were here last night, then you will have received a candle at midnight mass ? the whole church lit up by the gentle flickering glow of all the candles is a beautiful sight. Today, I am going to give people another candle and ask them to light it and leave it burning here at the front of the church.

There is a simple crib here ? the one that the young church members have been praying with over the last few weeks. This morning, I am going to ask you all to come and light a candle at the crib and just spend a moment or two there. God is born in Bethlehem. God is born in our crib scenes. God is born in our singing and our prayers and our praise. God is born in our homes. And God is born in our hearts too.

So I am going to ask you all, young and old to come and light a candle and say a prayer. Remember as you do it that Christ came to lighten up the world. And to turn the lights on for you, wherever you need them to shine.


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