Hasten, O God, to save me;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.
May those who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, ‘Aha! Aha!’
turn back because of their shame.
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help
always say, ‘The Lord is great!’
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Lord, do not delay.
Do you always turn to God in your need? Many people turn to prayer when their lives seem darkest. As the days shorten and the weather cools, alongside ongoing restrictions, many people are struggling. Yet, as the Psalmist says, God is our help and our deliverer. It is hard to rejoice and be glad when all seems hopeless and the pain never-ending – yet that is what we are called to do.
Where I live is under ‘Tier 3’ restrictions at the time I write this. People are despairing about being able to spend time with loved ones during the coming weeks and months. Those who already dread the Christmas period, as well as those who usually look forward to it, are now facing it with uncertainty and sadness. Once again, the darkness seems to be overwhelming, not helped by the much shorter days.
We need the hope of the light in the darkness. Several of the chapels I work with have decided to be a little light in the darkness – putting Christmas messages on banners, lighting the outside of their buildings or a tree, playing Christmas music outside – trying to give a little Christmas cheer and the message of hope in this dark time. We don’t know what the Christmas period will be like, but we want to share our hope and light with others.
Lord of darkness and light,
The world seems such a dark place at the moment;
we don’t know when we will see family and friends again;
what was once often a difficult time for a few, now seems hard for everyone.
Help us to see the light in the darkness.
Help us to be the light in other people’s darkness.
May we all know your hope,
Lord of darkness and light –
Do not delay.