A View From The Vicarage - December 2018

Dear Friends

“And The Light Shineth In Darkness”

As I write this, the immediate future of our Country and it’s Government appears to be in some considerable flux as the result of protracted negotiations with the European Union would seem to have resulted in a potential treaty that very few people seem willing to accept.  Whatever one’s political view I am convinced that all of us should at least admire and respect Teresa May for her dogged determination and commitment over the past 2.5 years, whether she’s still the Prime Minister by the time you read this or not.

As I was considering the tumultuous events in and around Westminster the following words came into my head:  “and the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”.  (John 1:6)  Those familiar and much loved words from St. John in the reassuringly familiar translation of the King James’ Bible seem particularly apposite as I write this, nobody I suspect, knows what or where the “light shining in the darkness” of Brexit is or even could be.  Is it the sunlit uplands of the Brexiteers vision beyond the European Union? Could it be the golden sunlight of the Remainers dream of a UK well within the European Union? 

I’m confident that as I write this nobody can really tell us quite where and how this will end.  But;  very few people in the morning after the first Christmas Day or the first Easter Day could have confidently told you that light truly had dawned upon the world through the birth and later the resurrection of Jesus Christ and yet, it most certainly had.

The child born in the obscurity of Bethlehem some 2000 years ago would bring light and hope to the lives and the livelihoods of billions of people in the millenia that have passed since.  The child of Bethlehem changed the world far more dramatically and permanently than Brexit or no-Brexit ever could or ever will. As surely as the light dawned in a new way over Bethlehem and Jerusalem all of those years ago, so it will also dawn to enlighten the chaos and confusion of Brexit or no Brexit.  Whatever will emerge from the current maelstrom; we can be confident that something will and the light will indeed shine.  The future may not be perfect, the future will probably not fulfil all of the dreams and aspirations of either side of the argument but a future whatever it is will emerge.  In the years to come the times we are living through will be nothing more than another chapter in the long history of these islands.

Surely to find the light which the darkness comprehends not – we need to do nothing more and nothing less than remember to model our own lives in that true Light.  Welcoming and reaching out to the stranger, the marginalised, the dispossessed, the outcast, the stranger and the refugee because at some point in his life the true Light was each and every one of the above.

May his light touch you and all those you love this Christmas and throughout the coming year.

A happy and blessed Christmas to you all,


Ben Griffith