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Viewpoint from Rev Brian Hall 04/05/2018

Brian HallRev Brian Hall
Minister, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston


as published in the Yarmouth Mercury


"The Darkest Hour" was used for the title of recently released film that cast Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. The phrase "The Darkest Hour" referred to the time when the United Kingdom appeared to be under direct threat of invasion following the evacuation of the British Army from Dunkirk and prior to victory in the Battle of Britain. The darkest moment is usually considered to have been 10 May 1941 when over 1,500 civilians died in Luftwaffe bombing raids on London alone
dove leftSometimes, history can look like an endless parade of blood and terror. We seem to jump from atrocity to atrocity, only stopping to write books about how terrible things were before repeating the same mistakes all over again. History is littered with people who brought darkness into the world
By contrast, the coming of Jesus into our world brought light by fulfilling an ancient Hebrew prophecy of hope given by Isaiah - “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the shadow of death a light has dawned”
The teaching of Jesus was revolutionary to the minds of his first hearers. You have heard that it was said, love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, …”. Jesus, in his life and teaching, rejected the darkness of revenge and urged people to embrace forgiveness and reconciliation
Dove rightMany people came to Jesus in darkness and went away bathed in light. He brought people out of the darkness of sin into the light of God’s mercy and love. He brought the marginalized out of the darkness of rejection into the light of social acceptance. He brought the sick and wounded out of the darkness of pain and illness into the light of healing and wholeness. He brought a selfish, greedy tax collector named Zacchaeus out of darkness of contempt for others into the light of respect for others
By rising from the dead, Jesus scattered the darkness of death and promised those who followed him that they would never walk in darkness but have the light of life. How dark the world would be if the light of Jesus had never shone. We each have areas of darkness on our lives: fear, shame, guilt, discouragement, frustration, greed, selfishness. Communities have their areas of darkness too. Can the light of Jesus make a difference today? I believe it can!          


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