Thought for the week – from the Rev.David Jones
According to some adverts ‘Black Friday’ has now become ‘Black Friday’ week! Like the ghoulish antics of Halloween, we have embraced another American tradition which is held on the Friday following thanksgiving a day when most Americans are still off work and free to fill the shopping malls. Why ‘Black Friday’? – among the suggestions is that retailers go from the red into the black and that might well be the reason. It’s ironic then that the message of Advent which begins this Sunday is full of light rather than darkness. That’s why Jesus is called the ‘light’ of the world and this Christmas again we are reminded of God entering the world in loneliness and poverty to bring light to our darkness.
There are as we know real concerns as to how we will be able to celebrate Christmas this year as we wait to see if present restrictions will be eased in some way. The shops are, no doubt, hoping that there will be a turnaround in spending as we are hearing of so many big names on the high street closing their doors. Across the pond the USA has not only ‘Black Friday’ to contend with but a real threat to democratic principles which has up to now been a beacon of light to the free world.
Worldwide this darkness is compound with the erosion of human rights and cruel dictatorships which remind us that King Herod still lurks in the wings of the Christmas story,swordin hand ready to extinguishevery light of hope, peace and justice.
There are, however, gems of hope which shine through like stars in the night – millions of pounds raised for Children in need again this year, key workers at the front line working tirelessly to heal and comfort the most vulnerable, loving acts of kindness which never reach the headlines but are done day by day. The light is all around us and the Bible says that darkness will never overcome it. After all that’s the Advent message – ‘Those walking in darkness have seen a great light!’