Reflection for Monday 13th December 2021

The Rev’d Penny Body

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Reflection 13th December 2021
Feast Day of St Lucy martyred in 304 AD
2 Corinthians 4.6-15
6For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. 11For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13 But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—‘I believed, and so I spoke’—we also believe, and so we speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. 15Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

From the book “Celebrating the Saints”, which gives readings and background for all the saints celebrated by the Church of England, we read …
Lucy was a native of Syracuse in Sicily. She lived at the beginning of the fourth century, when the Roman authorities were attempting to re-establish the worship of gods they approved. The emperor himself was the focus of one of the cults. Tradition has it that Lucy, as a young Christian, gave away her goods to the poor and was betrayed to the authorities by her angry betrothed, who felt that they should have become his property. She was put to death for her faith in the year 304. Her name in Latin means Light and, as her feast day fell in December, she became associated with the one true Light who was coming as the redeemer of the world, the Light that would lighten the nations, the Light that would banish darkness and let the eyes of all behold Truth incarnate.
Light is a huge theme in this time of Advent. An Advent Carol service will often begin with a service of the light – each week we light the candles in our Advent crowns – and our Collects speak of the light banishing the darkness. We look forward to our Christmas readings from Isaiah – thinking especially of the words “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” – and the opening words from John’s gospel – “In him was life – and that life was the light of all people … the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it”.
During Advent we look forward – and long for the light of the world to come into his own. As we light our Advent candles we can see just how much difference even a tiny flame makes to the darkness. How much more then, does the light of the world bring light to our lives? The light that is our salvation – the light of justice, the light of love and the light of peace.
And to know that we are children of the light – children of our heavenly Father – of God “who is light and in whom there is no darkness at all” – as we read in 1 John – is a rare and wonderful thing.
There are so many beautiful bible verses that speak of the light – you might like to try doing a bible search for light this week and choose a favourite verse to meditate upon each day.
We have within ourselves the light – we pray that it may shine from us – not under a bushel but brightly for all to see – to lighten the paths of others and bring them into the light. And no matter how dark the world appears, how dark the situation we feel ourselves in, however afflicted, perplexed, persecuted or struck down we feel – as St Paul writes to the Corinthians in our reading today – however concerned we are for our world with the pandemic and wars and climate change – we know that Jesus is the light of the world – a light the darkness can never overcome. Ever. Amen.

Collect for Festival of St Lucy
God our redeemer,
who gave light to the world that was in darkness
by the healing power of the Saviour’s cross:
shed that light on us, we pray,
that with your martyr Lucy
we may, by the purity of our lives,
reflect the light of Christ
and, by the merits of his passion,
come to the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Advent Blessing

Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you,
scatter the darkness from before your path,
and make you ready to meet him when he comes in glory;
and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon you,
and remain with you always. Amen.