Journey in the dark

5th December Suggested reading: Genesis 28 v 10-22

How dark it has been these last couple of days! The beautiful crisp and icy landscape quickly disappeared into the rain and gloom of dark December. Travelling in the dark, as so many must do at this time of the year, is never easy, particularly in this part of the world where street lighting is often scarce!

On our journey through Advent it stuck me that Jacob was someone who knew about travelling in the dark-literal and spiritual. Jacob has tricked his brother Esau out of his privileged position as the oldest son and has to flee for his life. He travels away from the family disagreement and heads towards his uncle Laban. The sun sets as he journeys and, with no light to travel by, he settles down in the wilderness with only a stone pillow to sleep on.

Who knows what thoughts went through his mind as he lay there alone in the dark and the cold but I am sure that many of us at one time or another may have found ourselves feeling something similar. Overwhelmed perhaps by the darkness of grief, fear, loneliness, anxious with an unhappy past and an uncertain future?

And yet, into this dark night, God comes and speaks. As you look back in your own life what times of darkness has God used to speak to you?  What might he be saying to you, his church, his world as we walk this Advent through the darkness of Covid?

Jacob Ladder by William Blake c 1799-1806

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