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Recorded for the Traditional Carol service.

My wife Jess likes to walk around the house in the dark – me, I like to put the lights on and off as I walk around.

I love light, particularly candlelight; when you light a candle in the darkness, you can almost see the darkness running away.  When you light a candle in the dark, the darkness simply disappears – so imagine what happens when God shines in the darkness…

In many ways, 2020 has been a year of darkness.  We have been separated from our loved ones.  Some of us have lost our jobs, or had our work reduced.  Health workers have been worked to breaking point.  And tragically many thousands have died before their time.  2020 has been a dark year for almost all of us.

Which I suspect is one reason why so many of us got the Christmas decorations out super early this year.  We needed some good cheer, something bright – we needed a light to shine in the darkness.

The bright, colourful lights of Christmas decorations are lovely – but they come, and they go.  They only last for a season, and the danger is that, come January, the darkness will come swooping back into our lives and feel even worse than before.

That’s why I picked this verse out of the final reading from our service today: The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

These Christmas lights are only temporary.  But the light that came into the world that first Christmas isn’t just any old light, he was and is the true light.  He doesn’t shine for a month or so – he is light, and he never stops shining.  He is the true light –

.. and he gives light to everyone.  That includes you, and it even includes me.  Jesus the true light, which shone that first Christmas night and doesn’t get packed away in January – this light, this Jesus – he is for everyone, he is for you; his light is for you.

So if you feel the darkness close by this Christmas, I encourage you to turn to Jesus, the true light that gives light to everyone.  Pray to him this Christmas, turn to him, and you will find that his light alone can chase away the darkness – and his light will shine long after your Christmas lights are back in their box until next year.