For the last 12 months I have engaged in simple daily practice of sharing the little things that my heart. I Have shared it on social media first thing every day. It has brought much light into my life, during sometimes challenging times and it has done the same for others too. I am going to continue.
Albert Schweitzer said “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lit the flame within us”.
There are many people who have lit the flame in me. During a recent “Common Search for Meaning” group at Urmston I was reminded a simple act of loving kindness that was offered to me at time of utter despair. I was broken by grief, the most broken I have been and ended up in the company of Alan Myerscough and Wynne Semester, who were both at Cross Street Chapel at the time, as was I. I will never forget their loving kindness that day. I particularly remember Wynne sitting me down and warming soup for me on the hob, insisting I ate it while she sat with me. She could not change what had happened and could do nothing to take away my pain, she could though lovingly support me, sit with me and feed, she offered comfort in the truest sense of the word. She recognised my pain and she offered me comfort. To me this true love, spiritual love, incarnated in human form. It has inspired my faith and my ministry. It was an Immanuel moment, for it reminded me that God is with us.
Maybe this something we can think about this Advent, think of your Immanuel moments, those folk who have lit the flame within you, when everywhere has been darkness.
There is a story of a Hasidic rabbi, renowned for his piety. He was unexpectedly confronted one day by one of his devoted youthful disciples. In a burst of feeling, the young disciple exclaimed, “My master, I love you!” The ancient teacher looked up from his books and asked his fervent disciple, “Do you know what hurts me, my son?”
The young man was puzzled. Composing himself, he stuttered, “I don’t understand your question, Rabbi. I am trying to tell you how much you mean to me, and you confuse me with irrelevant questions.”
“My questions is neither confusing nor irrelevant,” rejoined the rabbi, “For if you do not know what hurts me, how can you truly love me.”
There are many who have rekindle the spark in me over the years. I hope that I done so in lives of others too. Alan and Wynne certainly did that day. They recognised my pain and offered me true comfort. They incarnated love through their being. They loved me.
It has been through experiencing the light once more coming on and witnessing it in the lives of others that keeps the fire of hope burning deep within me. We human beings are capable of incredible acts of love and compassion. I see this every day in my personal interactions and I also see it on a global level in the way that we do respond to the horrors and crisis that we witness in our lives both locally and globally. We humans are capable of such goodness.
The key is to believe and to bring that belief to fruition that we are capable of deep caring as well as destructive aggression; that we are just as capable of good as we are of evil. By the way I mean all of us, not just some of us. I do believe that we are formed from Divine love and that we have that Divine spark that created the beginning of all life within us; that we are all formed from that Original Goodness; that we all have that same stardust within us. Our problem is that we have forgotten this and or rejected it. When we do this we turn from a love for all life into a rejection and hatred of life itself. To me this is where the darkness, the evil in life comes from. From rejecting life and the love from which we are all formed.
…By failing to recognise that we are the light of the world…
It is our task, I believe, to rekindle that loving flame within each and every one of us. It is our task to become the Immanuel, the ones that the world has been waiting for. Not to wait for some figure to come and rescue humanity, but to become those people ourselves, to let love incarnate within us and through us. To bear witness to the fact that God is already with us, in our hearts and souls and to bring that love to life. We must become the Immauels, the ones we have all been waiting for.
It is so easy to sink into despair and say, there is no hope for humanity, but is this true? I don’t think so, but it is up to us. There is no point just waiting for something to happen, it is we who must become the savours of our world and it begins in our own hearts and minds, in our own families and in our own communities and hopefully the whole world. It is our task to bring the spirit of love alive in our lives and in our times and places. It is our task to become the Immanuel’s.
…We must become the light of the world…
We can build temples of hope in all our hearts, in spite of the despair that we see within our own lives and those all around us. We can bring love alive once more. We can light the flame within us and rekindle the flame in those who need it the most, who feel close to giving up, who feel consumed by despair. We can become the blessing that our world has been waiting for.
…We can become the light of the world
Below is a video devotion based
on the material in this "Blogspot"