The Darkness Doesn't Understand It
I love Autumn: the colours, the changing temperatures, the rugby internationals and the delicious anticipation of mince pies before too long … But the blot on a gorgeous time of year is the way our culture has succumbed to yet another consumer-seducing date on the calendar. Unlike Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Easter Bunnies, which are relatively harmless and can even have some benefits (particularly Cadbury’s Crème Eggs), I can’t think of anything good about Halloween at all. It’s a time of fear masquerading as fun, of darkness covering up deception.
The major retailers are predicting that £330,000,000 will be spent on pumpkins and Queen Elsa and her sidekick Olaf. It’s the third largest spending occasion of the year. The latest contribution to my grumpiness about this has been the realisation that this huge amount of money will disappear from family budgets like mist in the rising sun. What will be left on Monday morning? Nothing – no kid is going to wash, iron and fold their outfit to bring it out next year are they? And how much of that pumpkin is anyone going to actually eat?
But I am comforted and my heart lifts when I read about the eternal-lasting gift God gives us, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness but the darkness doesn’t understand it.” (John 1:3-5).
The darkness brings fear and confusion and has no comprehension. Jesus brings love and freedom and understanding. As you see signs of fear and confusion this Friday, be prepared to kneel down and whisper, “Jesus loves you, you’re safe with Him, He explains everything.” (Have a God Loves You Card at hand!)
We finish our series, “Sex & Marriage”, this Sunday when James will be teaching about how to build strong marriages (From Good to Great). The following week James and Karen will be starting the Marriage Course. It is a series of seven Tuesday evenings (from 4 November) at their home. There’s room for 3 or 4 more couples. This is not for marriages in trouble but for all marriages. It’s like taking your car in for a service – it catches things before there’s a problem. The car runs better afterwards. Alison and I have done this course three times so far and commend it to you.
Alison and I are taking a few days off this week. We are taking Alison’s Dad to Scarborough. Apart from being a bit of a break it will be a chance to step forward after her Mum’s funeral – particularly for Leslie. We would appreciate your prayers for a time of restoration and rebuilding.
Don’t forget to check out Cause to Live For, Movember Curry & Quiz Night (6 November), and the Community Choir being assembled for the Christmas Carol Service on 7 December. Rehearsals start next week. And if you know someone who is new to Leeds Vineyard please encourage them to sign up for the Welcome Supper on Monday 3 November.