Light in the Darkness – something to think about at Christmas-time

  • This is adapted from a talk given to some teenagers in December 2011. The setting was the main room in the church with all the lights off and one tea-light candle lit on a table in the very centre of the room.

    One of the people who wrote about Jesus in the Bible said this:

    “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

    We have a candle. In a very big, dark room. But there is nothing the darkness can do to put out the candle.

    We can put out the candle – we can blow on it – we can squirt it with fire extinguishers. But the darkness itself can’t do anything.

    The Bible says the light of Jesus shines in the darkness and the darkness can’t put it out, just like real darkness cannot smother a candle.

    Now we live in a very big, dark world. There is a lot of pain and hurt and suffering. Sometimes that affects us close to home – maybe someone in our family has died or is ill. Maybe our family is split up. Maybe in school there seems to be difficult things going on – bullying, or whatever.

    Maybe sometimes we just feel swamped. Like there is so much to do – so much homework and schoolwork and pressure on us to do well, that it’s really hard to see any light at all.

    Who’s heard the phrase that there is light at the end of the tunnel?

    Who’s heard it said that the light at the end of the tunnel is the front of an oncoming train?

    Life can feel like that – and when we look around us we can feel overwhelmed by the darkness.

    But there is light. And the darkness cannot overcome it.

    We’re called to be like Jesus and that means we are lights too. Jesus told his followers that they were the lights of the world, and if we’re serious about following Jesus, then we will shine like lights.

    The only way the darkness can win is if we choose to put that light out. Sometimes we make wrong choices and extinguish our light, and then the darkness wins.

    Now, one candle on its own may be fairly puny in a massive dark space, but when we light more, then many candles together can light up even a big hall like this.

    When there are lots of candles lit, the light is much brighter. That’s why it is important for us to meet together – when we are together we are stronger.

    I hope that you want to be a shining light in this world, which can be very dark at times.

    The more of us there are, the less dark the world will be.

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