I have borrowed the title for this blog-post from the first line of Malcolm Guite’s sonnet for today, St. Lucy’s Day, in his inspiring Advent book, “Waiting on the Word”. Reading this poem, all about light and shade, just before I left the house this morning re-orientated my whole day (and caused me to rush outside with my phone and take this photo of frost on a (surviving!) Mahonia.
Daylight hours here in Glasgow are not many now – St. Lucy’s Day is certainly brief. The past week has been largely wet and cold (“dreich” as the local word well expresses it). But today was different, with so many rays of light gilding this third Sunday of Advent:
- Freezing fog giving way to clear blue skies and sparkling sunshine
- Meeting for Sunday morning worship in our brand new basement church in Anniesland for the first time and feeling the buzz still reverberating after last week’s wonderful dedication.
- Needing an extra 5 chairs for our worship as the anticipated 15 was not enough!
- Being overwhelmed by the generosity of this tiny congregation who had brought almost their own body weight in gifts for the local Foodbank (see photo below).
- Joining another larger-than-expected crowd at Woodlands church for a fun-filled (& delicious) Christmas lunch.
- Being piped into the City Chambers in Glasgow for the ecumenical “Carols for Peace” service this afternoon and marvelling at the interior of this glorious building (sometimes used as a film set in lieu of the Vatican!)
- Discovering that Glasgow has strong links with Bethlehem as we were all given an olive wood Christmas decoration to remind us to pray for peace in that place which I visited so recently (again see photo below).
- Watching small children act out the story of Good King Wenceslas and listening to older ones sing “Oh holy night” with great joy and conviction.
- Putting up a few more lights here at home as the Advent darkness begins to make way for the coming light; as Malcolm Guite expresses it:
“Though winter night will soon surround us here,
another Advent comes, Dayspring is near”.