Street Light

Saturday, December 23, 2006
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Matthew 4:16 – The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned. (ESV)

Earlier this year, we had a power cut, and I had to make my way downstairs in the dark. Since then, I have invested in a torch. Surprise, surprise — we had another power cut just a few weeks ago.

I am glad to say that we were prepared, so I made my way straight to the torch, which was near the fuse box. Soon we were alight with candles, and sitting down to view a blank television screen, we awaited the return of the power.

Time passed, and I wondered how far the darkness stretched. So I went to have a look outside. It covered the whole of my immediate block and at least the next one up the road. Along this main traffic route through town, there was just one street light defiantly aglow. It was at the end of the street on the other side of the road. Apparently, this light was unaffected by the blackout, which was particularly fortuitous because the pavement juts out in a kink as it joins the road, some fifty yards from a set of traffic lights.

To my amazement, people zoomed too fast down the main road, straight across an intersection, without much thought for those who attempted, without the aid of the lights, to traverse it at right angles to the larger road. I winced at the sight of cars and cyclists who took their lives in their hands to get across in the darkness. So I stood, bathed in the pool of light cast by this one street lamp, and signalled for cars to slow down, warning them of a hazard ahead.

For me, this street light has echoes of today's verse of Scripture, reminding us how Jesus came into our world to shed His light and guide us on our way, which is what we celebrate at Christmas time.

Prayer: Lord, You alone are the One who brings good news, Who sheds Your divine light into our darkness. Please forgive us our sins and deliver us from hardened hearts as we remember Your free gift to us of eternal life this Christmas. Thanks, Lord. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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