When the clocks go back in Autumn I heave a sigh of relief, my body clock is back in sync again and I dread Spring when they go on again! But something has gone wrong this year. I don’t want to get up in the morning! If there is no daylight showing round the edges of the curtain, then in my mind it is still night and I just don’t want to get up. Imagine what I would be like if the clocks hadn’t gone back, it would be dinnertime before I would want to surface! That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but dark mornings are no fun, especially if they are dank and cold too.
There is not a lot that is said in the Bible about dark mornings, but a lot of quotes about early rising! And of course we have the example of John Wesley who rose when most folk were just going to bed! Psalm 139 reminds us that even the darkness is not dark with God and 1 John 1:5 says that God is light and in him is no darkness.
Winter is a difficult time of year for many people. The lack of light and sunshine can have a real detrimental effect on health. Nights can seem very long and lonely and when curtains are closed some folk can feel that no one knows they exist and the world is cut off.
Darkness can be a state of mind too. When the way forward seems unclear, when mentally we are in a fog and the way out is just not clear when this happens then darkness can seem very negative. But there is another side to darkness, the warmth and safety of the womb, curling up by the fire with a hot chocolate, seeing the night sky in all its glory with myriads of stars. A moonlit scene and that quietness and stillness that often goes with darkness.
I remember someone once saying to me that a lit candle makes the darkness visible! Sometimes I don’t even realise how dark it is until I put a light on! And of course light enables us to know what dark is. Without the contrast we would not know the difference.
A friend lived for a while in Uganda on the Equator. At 6am it was light and at 6pm it was dark! No dawn, no twilight, every day the same – no variation. I give thanks for the variety we have here. For the difference each day offers in light and dark, I give thanks for sunrises and sunsets, for dull days because it makes me appreciate dry bright ones all the more. And as days lengthen I’ll feel more like getting up!
If darkness is a safe place for you, enjoy the stillness and enfolding, if it is not, remember in God there is no darkness, and whilst physically it may be dark, the love of God in you is the light in your life.
Light of the world who stepped down into darkness, come and be present in all aspects of our lives that we may be enfolded and held in your love. Illuminate the dark corners of our lives and give us energy to be alert and alive to where we will see your light in the world. Amen.
You can download this Prayer for the Week as a .pdf here
Weekly Prayers for January 2018 © Denise Creed 2017