Time to shine

Time to Shine

I’m going to show my age and let you know that I’m a fan of Rev I M Jolly – a character created and played by the late Rikki Fulton. There’s a good Scottish word “dour”… all you need to know is that it means the opposite of ‘Jolly’ and it describes Rev I M Jolly accurately. He would appear on a Scottish Hogmanay tv show and bring some gloom to the festivities! There’s a risk that I might do exactly what he did but stick with me!

I don’t know what your 2022 looked like but for many it wasn’t the brightest. I heard someone relate their experience of last year and it went like this…

“After two years of the pandemic, just when things were expected to get better and easier, there was the desperate news of war on mainland Europe for the first time in my lifetime, the consequent cost of living crisis and the madness that our political leaders got us in to.  I also faced the biggest challenges that I’ve ever faced with what was triggered by a health issue. What followed was a series of events and consequences where I thought that I could lose everything... family, house, job! Alongside that, there was the loss of a good friend and the loss of someone else who wouldn’t have accepted this but he had had a major impact on my life... it’s been dark! I didn’t have the kind of year that those in Ukraine experienced but I’m glad to see the back of 2022… it was bleak! 

All of those challenges haven’t quite been overcome yet and I’m sure that there will be new challenges this year but I enter 2023 with renewed hope. You see, in my darkest days of 2022, some people stepped up and stepped in to help… some unexpectedly and some in unexpected ways and some in sacrificial ways. They were lights in the darkness and came along just when I needed… I’d call them angels of light. And I’d have to say that the most Christ-like response was from the unlikeliest and most unexpected person who would never, ever describe their actions as Christ-like. My experience gives real encouragement to go into a New Year with renewed hope that God surrounds us with people to help, to support and cheer us on.”

There’s also a challenge in there for us too… isn’t there?  We’re still in dark times – life feels more precarious than ever and I look around at the difficulties that others are facing or could face. I’m challenged to be the same light that others were to the person above. What about you? Whether it is some practical help, a listening ear, a word of encouragement or a commitment to walk a difficult road with a friend or relation… look around at the darkness… it’s time to shine the light of Christ’s love!

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:5

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