Last Saturday evening I played a game of Happy Families with my granddaughter. Here it was a dark late Autumn evening. With her the sun was shining. It was breakfast time on a late Spring day. She was on one side of the world and I on the other.
Someone somewhere is always beginning anew. As the late Hilary Mantell said in her novel Bringing Up the Bodies, “There are no endings….They are all beginnings.” The calendar year and the Church’s year are like that. Nature too. Repeated cycles but always new beginnings.
That can be the same for us. In our dark northern hemisphere the theme of ‘light’ shining in the darkness is a powerful image. An image of hope and renewal. One that Jesus gave us when he said , ‘I am the Light of the World’. As we begin the Advent season, we could make this a particular time of personal spiritual growth.
On our journey we wouldn’t have to light bonfires to celebrate and renew the light – though they do at the Up Helly Aa (Up Holy Day) Festivals in Shetland. We could just decide that we would find a routine of renewal that suits us.
In so doing, we could use the opportunities that the church and St. George’s in particular, present us. The Christmas Tree Festival with all those lights and the Advent Carol Service, with its journey from darkness into light, could both support us in a new beginning. Or we might decide that a single candle is sufficient to light the way.