I was struck recently by the words of a police officer who said of the nightly battle for law and order he and his colleagues face when darkness is a cover for criminal activity, “We shine the brightest.” This is a dark time of year with daylight hours still short, very troubling events in the world making many so gloomy and the stormy, cold weather not helping matters. It can be tempting to lose confidence and to think that there is little that can be done to improve things. That’s why the officer’s words had such an impact – he was sure he and his colleagues would overcome the criminals challenging them and that they could make a positive difference. And so they did!
As we face the challenges before us, perhaps we’re not sure that we can overcome them. There will be daily ways in which we can also make a difference – but what difference will we decide to make? February Filldyke is dark and rainy but early snowdrops are already appearing, buds are developing on the magnolia and weeping willow trees here and the daylight is lengthening. There are signs of new life and growth all around – sometimes they are noticed and sometimes just overlooked.
The same is true of relationships too. The song This little light o’ mine, I’m going to let it shine is a joyful gospel song but it became well known as an anthem of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s. During that struggle, many were heartened by it as, despite the circumstances, it helped to lower the awful tensions being experienced. The lyrics speak of letting the light shine – for those around us as well as ourselves:
This little light o’ mine, I’m goin’ to let it shine Everywhere I go, I’m goin’ to let it shine …..
In my neighbour’s home, I’m goin’ to let it shine Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.’
The light is there – it’s a question of letting it shine. At the funeral of Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the President of the USA, it was said that she would rather, “…light a candle than curse the darkness.” She championed civil rights, doing what she could and letting her light shine when others were eclipsed. In the darkness and challenges facing us today, will we let ours? And, as Lent begins this month, do we shine the brightest we can?
The following services will be held at St Melangell’s:
Thursdays 1st, 8th, 22nd, 29th February at noon: Holy Eucharist and healing service followed by a shared lunch.
Feb. 4th, Creation Sunday; 11th, Racial Justice Sunday, 3pm: service of reflection.
Ash Wednesday, 14th, 10am: Ashing and Holy Eucharist. There will be no service on 15th due to this.
18th First Sunday of Lent, 3pm: Service of reflection.
25th Second Sunday of Lent, 3pm: Holy Eucharist.
Monday 26th February, 10.30 in the centre: Julian Group.
The Lent group will focus on Julian of Norwich, known as the Covid Saint because she voluntarily chose to a lifetime of prayer in isolation. Julian wrote the first surviving book by a woman in English and lived during a time of plague that had parallels with the Covid pandemic. If you would like to join the weekly discussion group looking at these and other issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01691 860408.
With my prayers; pob bendith,