We have internet again. That and the rather muddled couple of weeks we’ve had moving into our new flat has meant a break from the world of this blog. If you care, I apologise and reassure you that I’m back with another of those posts that will make you happy if you live in Brighton and long to live here if not, or you know, wish that occasionally I would shut up about Brighton.
Yes, it’s another I *heart* Brighton post. The other night we headed off down to the sea front to watch the annual burning of the clocks parade, leaving aside the amount of times I asked husbandface if they were going to throw the clocks into the sea (no, because then it would be called the throwing the clocks in the sea parade…). Pretty lanterns in the shapes of clocks past us on our way, I think the crocodile from Peter Pan made an appearance and we managed to stand on tip toes long enough to see the massive bonfire being lit and the clocks duly burnt (oh and some rather odd pagan pronouncements about what on earth was going on: They explain: “Burning the Clocks is an antidote to the excesses of the commercial Christmas. People gather together to make paper and willow lanterns to carry through their city and burn on the beach as a token for the end of the year … The lantern makers become part of the show as they invest the lanterns with their wishes, hopes, and fears and then pass them into the fire. Same Sky are masters at creating new urban rituals to replace those traditional festivals that were lost in the dash to be new and non superstitious.”)
All in all I think it was an effort to rail against the darkness in this rather bleak mid winter time that we are having at the moment. And for a brief period it did. We oooed and ahhhed at the pretty fireworks lighting up the sky, at the bonfire and at the lanterns piercing holes in the dark sky above us. The trouble is none of these things lasted. When I ran down to the beachfront this morning the fire will was as cold and grey as the morning that surrounds it. I am sure that we haven’t made any impact on the actual turn of the earth and the darkness that circles us both in our minds and in this world.
It’s not too much of a leap to jump forward a few days to the coming of the King of Kings, born in a stable, born weak and vulnerable in this world and yet the one who really could and did kick a massive hole in the darkness. The one before whom darkness flees away, the true Sun rising from heaven as the dawn rises on this dark world. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness comprehends it not. There is a real hope in the midst of this bleak winter. There is reality of a God who comes to his world as one of us to save us from the darkness, mess and brokenness that characterizes lives lived away from him and in this broken messy world. There is true light and hope to be found as we relate to each other and learn how to do that well without holding onto what I want all the time. There is a better way to live. And ultimately a better future to look forward to.
We also enjoyed Handel’s Messiah at the Brighton Dome (see- Brighton rocks, come on- move here, you know you want to…) the following evening. A very different experience. A confident proclamation that there is more to this world than we can see in front of our eyes, that we are mere dust and there is one who was born into our world, was despised and rejected, yet rose again and reigns forever and ever. A vast message of comfort and joy to this broken world. The world seems to carry on regardless, unseeing, unrecognising. Yet it is to this world that the Light has come and the darkness continues to not know what to do with it. There is Hope this Christmas time. There is Light in the darkness this Christmas time and there is someone who wants to live with us, to transform our lives and to help us look to the One who reigns forever and ever and ever and ever.