As the Night Draws in
Last Friday was the autumn equinox, when the night and the day were of equal length. From now on, the nights draw in and the days can become increasingly grey. Combining these natural cycles of the year with the deep and widespread concerns over the cost of living and our ability to stay warm this winter, many people are anxious and flat. And some of us will be suffering from clinical depression. All this applies to believers in our community of faith and to the people around us in St Albans. We are organised to mitigate these things to some extent, with fireworks in November, the jollity around the Christmas season, and Bake Off starting on the TV, for instance. But especially at the moment, spirits can be low.
Of course, Jesus addresses worries for the future directly in Matthew 6: 25-27 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life’.
For most of us this is a work in progress – very difficult to achieve but an attitude of mind to strive for. Until we have reached it, there are other aspects of the Christian perspective which are helpful. The fact that Christian communities are there to support each other. The fact that we seek to help others beyond those communities. The fact that we seek to be motivated by the love which flows from God. The fact that we have hope for the future. And we can pray.
God of love and mercy,
Thank you that nothing can separate us from your love.
The fears and cares of the world can cause sadness in our hearts.
We pray that your spirit would be at work in us to bring freedom from sorrow, doubts and fears.
Wipe away our tears and help us to sense your presence.
May we find refuge in your love, and safety in your shadow.
Increase our faith that we might experience happiness and joy in your eternal kingdom.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.