The United Reformed Church Chesham

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February/March 2009 Newsletter

Dear Friends

We have become used to a brightly lit world. We no longer struggle to spend evenings trying to read or work by candlelight. We can walk or drive along brightly lit streets, easily recognising where we are going. Everywhere lights blink at us or dazzle us, even if they are low energy bulbs. A few evenings ago, I walked along a dark street and the uneven pavement was quite a challenge. The next time I went the same route, I took a torch! There have been protests locally about reductions in street lighting and safety, but we do need to consider energy saving and a wider picture. Each small saving could help the global situation and a pocket torch is a handy aid.

As spring comes, we look forward to more natural light. We greet with delight a bright sunny day after a spell of dull, cloudy ones. We look to light to cheer us up! At the beginning of John's Gospel, we read, The true light which enlightens everyone was coming into the world. (John 1:9) When Jesus was born, he was heralded as the light of the world and the words of the prophets came to fruition as he came as a saviour for the world. Jesus is not a dazzling bulb, but that pocket torch ready to light our way and stop us stumbling or losing hope on a dark path of life.

Soon we will again travel through Lent as we head towards Easter. We will find wilderness places, temptations, people to challenge us, but there will also be moments of joy and sharing with friends; as the first disciples travelled together, so will we until the challenge of Holy Week comes. 2009 has not started well with uncertainty and economic problems worldwide; violence in the Middle East; injustice and disease make grim headlines – darkness looms in many places. How we need Christ’s light.

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:5)

Unless we have experienced darkness, we cannot fully appreciate the relief and joy light can give. If we take hold of the light Christ offers us, we will have that bright torch to guide us through the darkness and our hearts will be lighter as God's Spirit supports us in all we do.

Light as relief for darkness.
Light as relief for heaviness.
Light as relief for depression.
Light essential for growth.

As we all travel through Lent,
look out for examples of Christ’s light –
signs of much needed help and hope,
bringing joy and peace.

With love,

Let us pray for light, to lighten the darkness:
Loving Lord, shine through the dark times
and be a torch to guide our way.
We give thanks for signs of your Spirit
at work in our lives and our world.
Help us to spread light to others, by
a smile, a word of encouragement or
a helping hand. Amen