Mothers’ Union Devotion Wednesday 2nd December 2020
Maybe it is just me but the news on Monday about banning alcohol being sold in pubs and restaurants and that all such venues must close at 6 pm has left me feeling a bit shocked. This is not because I spend a lot of time in pubs drinking. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I had an alcoholic drink out, without eating a meal as well. It was way before Covid-19 was even on the horizon. My reaction is more to do with the fact that at the moment, deep down we all are hoping that things will get better or at least stay the same. When the direction of travel is in the other direction, we must face the stark reality that this virus is not going away anytime soon.
But we are not without hope. Medical treatments are improving, vaccines are being developed, the strict measures do work when people adhere to them and we will have Christmas. Maybe not the one we want, but unlike at Easter, we will be able to gather as a church family and our immediate loved ones to celebrate the birth of our Saviour.
Hope also brings us the reassurance that no matter what we are going through, we are not alone. In the words of our beloved psalm:
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me. Psalm 23. 4
This modern version makes that hope more universal than the older King James version with the slightly scary valley of the shadow of death. Reminding us that God is with us at all times. In the universally recognised dark times and the seemingly smaller more personal dark times, which are nevertheless very real sources of pain and distress to us.
Ultimately, we have hope in the promise that at the end of the darkness there is light. Light that comes and make us feel restored, renewed, refreshed and ready for the future in whichever direction we find ourselves travelling.
So, as we continue our journey through Advent, we pray that we can embrace the hope that the coming light of Jesus will shine into all the darkness of our lives. Lifting us up with gladness and rejoicing as we say on that day along with the prophet Isaiah:
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. Isaiah 25. 9
May you all discern the hope of the coming light throughout this season of Advent.