Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Thought for the Week

LAST Sunday was the summer solstice, the day of the year with the longest period of daylight.

LAST Sunday was the summer solstice, the day of the year with the longest period of daylight.

This day is celebrated in various ways around the world including, of course, at Stonehenge.

Like many familiar things we take the sun for granted, forgetting that without it life as we know it could not exist and our world would be a barren, frozen rock floating in space.

Perhaps it’s because most of us are city or town dwellers and do not have to grow our own food that we forget its importance.

Yet even with centrally heated houses and artificial lighting we begin to miss the sun if it has not appeared for a prolonged period.

Ancient civilisations, being primarily agricultural, were very conscious of their reliance on the sun for their wellbeing and prosperity and in many cases this led to the sun being deified.

They knew by intuition what we have come to understand through science that life is dependent on the sun. So for the ancient Egyptians the sun travelled through the sky as Ra drove his chariot through the heavens and in a similar way the Greeks honoured Helios.

For the Christian, our physical life that the sun sustains is just part of the much bigger picture of what it means to be fully alive, fully human.

The source of our humanity does not rest solely on the fact that we are physical beings, formed from the dust of the earth, but God has breathed his Spirit into us and has given us into a special relationship with him.

He has demonstrated how much he cares for us by taking on our frail human nature in the person of Jesus. Jesus is the true Light of the World, the light that shines in the darkness, the Sun of Righteousness.

The life Jesus offers is not limited to that sustainable by the forces of nature but everlasting life. We are invited to share in a life where no sun will be needed because “all will be lit by the radiant glory of God”.

We can choose to either receive the benefits from the sun by venturing outside or stay shut up in a darkened room.

In the same way it is up to us to decide whether to receive what Jesus, the Light of the World offers us, or to live only for what our finite world can give.

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