December Letter from Mat

Our local councillor is just starting a campaign to reduce the amount of electric light pollution in Bristol at night. Not that he wants to plunge us into darkness. Obviously some light is needed for safety and security. Rather, he is keen to see our energy consumption reduce for environmental reasons. We all have a part to play in minimising our impact on the environment. He does also admit that he is an astronomer. Reduction in artificial light obviously improves the quality of star gazing.

This made me think of Advent. Advent like Lent is a time for reflection. Specifically, Advent is an opportunity to spend some time contemplating the world that we inhabit in the light of the coming celebration of Christmas and our ultimate hope that one day Jesus will return and herald the arrival of a new heaven and a new earth.

As we travel through Advent together we will be providing some resources for us to use to pray and reflect as a church.  These will be available in church and on the website. Do take advantage of them to prepare you spiritually for Christmas. We hope that they and the Advent series will both challenge and inspire each of us and our community in our growth in Christ.

As I reflect on the world I see many good things and also many areas of darkness. Some darkness is obvious, war, famine, crime, illness and some less so; for example our materialism and environmental apathy. But whatever darkness we perceive, or become aware of, our certain hope is that the light has come into the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. In fact the light shines brighter the darker it gets. We hope in a God who, we are told, created light in the darkness, and one who we know came into the darkness to show the true light of his love and truth in Jesus.

So perhaps on these dark mornings, or indeed evenings, we might want to make some time to reflect on light and dark, and to seek the light of truth, praying for Jesus’ return when all creation will be made new.

Mat

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