Lighting up the Darkness 

You may read this around the time when the clocks go back an hour and ‘Daylight Saving Time’ ends. ‘Losing an hour’ of light at this time of year can be striking, and thoughts often turn to how we might brighten things up a bit.

sunset

Fireworks displays are a great way to light up the night sky with dazzling displays, and if not already up, High Streets up and down the country will soon be putting up festive lights in order to hopefully attract shoppers. We are even now making plans to put the Christmas trees and lights up on our churches to lend some cheer to the darkest weeks of the year.
 
There is another type of light that we celebrate, particularly locally – the bright ideas of creativity and scientific discovery that shines light into areas of dark ignorance. Right in our midst we have the ‘Diamond Light’ source, a wonderful example of how cutting edge technology has been harnessed and made available to researchers from around the world, bringing with it the hope of medical advances, new technologies, and the world made better in numerous ways. In September our churches started a year-long project to encourage people to explore the fruitful relationship between science and faith, and celebrate the great gift of God that science is. See page 7 for news of the Family Science Club; news of other events and activities to follow.
 
Great good can come from the light cast by science, but the way scientific discoveries are harnessed is entirely down to the choices made by individual people. The deeds done by humans themselves are described in the Bible as light.
 
Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
 
What a difference we can make with the time, talents and opportunities that we each have. The interviewee in this month's Broadsheet is Judy Goodall, whose good deeds in the community and contribution to making the world a brighter place were recently recognised with a British Empire Medal. Judy follows in the steps of the one who described himself as the Light of the World, who came to banish the darkness that so blights human life.
 
Jesus is divine light incarnate, “the true light that gives light to everyone” (John 1:9) who came into the world. As plants naturally grow towards the light, so we are invited to turn towards the light of God. In the dark months ahead, let us decide to do just that, as we look forward to the arrival of the glorious light and warmth of spring!
 
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton
November 2016