It is a terrible and scary thing to suddenly find yourself truly in the dark.
I remember as a kid I hated staying with friends because I inevitably had to get up in the middle of the night to find the bathroom.
I didn’t want to turn on the light to disturb my hosts, so I would stumble around the furniture and in the hallways in total darkness – until my mom finally got tired of listening to me wake up the whole house, that she’d get up and whisper, …. “For God’s sake Darrell, turn on the light”.
I also vividly remember the night when I was missing the hay in the middle of the night when the lights on my tractor suddenly went out.
Blackout. It was so dark that I was blind.
Without light, I couldn’t understand my surroundings – I had no idea where to drive or if the rake was working properly behind me.
In the absence of light, I was suddenly afraid. I was helpless. Lost.
The great tragedy of our world is that it lives in the dark. Worse than being in the dark is being in the dark but believing that you are living in the light.
We think we are so enlightened and in control – masters of our own origins and our destiny.
We like to think of ourselves as our own light.
The truth is far from it, however.
We’re a lot more like this little boy stumbling in the dark of an unfamiliar house, or a farmer raking his alfalfa at 3 a.m. on a tractor without a light.
You see, at least when you are aware that you are in the dark, you are actively seeking the light.
I remember how good I felt, how relieved I was when my mom’s friend turned on the hallway light.
Suddenly I was able to make sense of my “world” and negotiate the trip to the bathroom without crashing my chin on the coffee table or spilling the vase in the hallway.
But if we don’t realize that we are in the dark, then we don’t even bother to seek out the light, nor do we realize the danger we find ourselves in.
The apostle John describes the arrival of Jesus into the world as the arrival of light.
The light reveals to us the reality of the world we live in, …. that we are a family of rebels who have constantly rejected the light and prefer to live in the dark – preferring to be our own light, which really is not. light at all.
John asserts that not only does the light of Christ reveal to us who we really are, but also the danger we find ourselves in, but he himself is the light that can bring us home.
If we lack light, then we will never even know we are living in the dark.
10h service – This is the main service at St Paul’s. It is a service for young and old, for those who know the church and for those new to the church.