Thought for the New Year

Here’s the text of an article that will appear in the Newark Advertiser on 07 January in the ‘Credo’ column

Star_Wars_The_Force_Awakens

For many millions of people around the world Christmas 2015 was all about the arrival of something that had been expected but that had been awaited for a very long time indeed.  Something that would bring great joy to many people all over the world. And yes, the new Star Wars film – The Force Awakens – looks like breaking all box office records. I went to see it shortly after it opened and it’s very impressive; full of special effects and with an exciting plot. (I suppose it should be for the 200 million dollars it’s reportedly cost to make.) And there’s the return of some well-loved characters from the first film – no plot spoilers from me though!

However I don’t think it would give anything away to say that the new film reprises the familiar theme that runs through the Star Wars franchise. As in all the films this one is about the conflict between two sides, the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force.  Our heroes are of course on the side of good, the Light Side, resisting the evil ways of the ‘First Order’. All in all a very pleasant way of spending a couple of hours.

For many millions of people around the world last Christmas, and every Christmas, was about the arrival of someone that had been promised, but who had been awaited for a very long time indeed. Someone that would bring great joy to people all over the world. I’ve experienced that someone too.  I didn’t have to buy a ticket and the experience can last for ever. The story of that someone is all about the conflict between good and evil – but this time I will give a plot spoiler; the good wins out every time.

 John’s gospel contains these words.  ‘The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has never put it out.’ That’s the thing about light – if there’s even the tiniest glimmer of light then it isn’t truly dark anymore.  When the light shines it shows up and exposes all the darkness.

As we move into 2016 it may sometimes seem that we are surrounded by overwhelming darkness; the darkness of ongoing war, particularly in Syria, and the fear of terrorist atrocities all over the world. We hear of regimes in many countries where human rights mean little and freedoms are threatened.  But we know the way the story is going to end – the light is going to win out; nothing can stop it.

Each one of us that follows that special someone adds our own little light to the world.  The more of us there are the more light there will be and the better and fairer God’s world will be.

Why not make 2016 the year that your own little light helps to dispel the gloom?

Mark

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