At the darkest hour

After the result of the General Election I was thinking about people who need good news.

The imagery of light coming into darkness is often used as a way of expressing hope in the midst of despair. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” This is how the prophet Isaiah put it (chapter 9, verse 2). 

Two different ideas occupied my mind. The first was that those people who have suffered under the austerity regime of the last decade desperately wanted relief. Some saw it in the Labour Party manifesto, but perhaps others saw it in leaving the EU and looked to Boris Johnson as their saviour. The second was that those who longed for a different political approach to equality and community in their disappointment at the reality of a Conservative majority would need some hope to keep them going. 

Those who are well off, comfortable and secure may well have been afraid to loose their security. The prospect of the world being turned upside down is never a good one for those in the establishment. More of the same is likely to be their gospel. Let the sun keep shining on our side of the street. 

The Gospel of Jesus is hope for those who have little or no money, are vulnerable and desperate. Isaiah’s words were picked up by Jesus as he understood his calling to be, “to bring good news to the poor…to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Chapter 61, verse 1). 

As we approach the longest night on the winter solstice, I am reminded of these words.

In darkness we will search for light 
and seek a glimmer of hope at night.
Where is the star that shines so bright?
Where is the one who makes things right?
In our despair we search for trust 
when faith's foundations turn to dust.
Where is the one whose ways are just?
When dawns the day, for come it must?
In loneliness we search for love, 
as intimate as hand and glove.
Where is there peace that soars above
all fear and hate? Where is the dove?
In all our longing for a meaning,  
a purpose and a song to sing,
where is the love, for which we're yearning,
and who will help our dreams to wing?

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