Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown
In December 1939 King George VI spoke to a nation at war, a war against Nazi Germany led by Hitler, a war which, only a few months old, had already brought attacks on civilians through frequent bombing raids, as well as on soldiers on the ground.
We begin 2021 with a different attack from a different enemy: Covid 19. As the number of cases rise, as hospitals are almost overwhelmed by the influx of very sick people needing beds, often intensive care beds, it is hard to greet the new year with anticipation and joy, even though there is the long-term prospect of an effective vaccine.
Go back, though, to another land, a different age, and a child born into a country under occupation, in extremely humble circumstances, to poor earthly parents, soon to seek refuge when the child was hunted by a despotic ruler. That child was, of course, Jesus, Son of God, taking His place amongst humans – a symbol of light in dark times then – and now.
Like in those far-off days, like the message of comfort and reassurance the King gave to the nation in the dark times of war, we too have the knowledge that God is always with us, through the bad times as well as the good.
So, that message from the king is just as helpful now as it was over eighty years ago.
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand in the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”