This once again is one of those weeks for bad news. A reasonably famous actor was killed in a car accident the other day and the cries of anguish went up for the loss of his life.
But we here in Scotland had our world a bit rocked with the story from Glasgow of the police helicopter going down and the loss of life there and the many that were hospitalised.
The obvious comparison was that of why one guy’s death goes viral and the many seems to already be a second page news story.
Yet each are tragic in their own way and are very personal losses for the families and friends of both situations.
It is again that stark reminder that we live in a time that can seem so bleak and dark at times.
Yet sadly this has been the state of the world for a long time, almost since the beginning.
Our reminder though in the start of the Advent season was in the lighting of the first candle that represented Hope.
It is a gift that God gives us. That in a world marred by sin and wickedness, there is hope.
In our evening service, we had a time of carols and scripture reading that lead us into thoughts of the incarnation of Jesus, and part of that time was spent focused on the crucifixion as we took time for Communion.
That moment that we are called by Christ as he says “as often as you eat this bread and drink of this cup... this do in remembrance of Me.”
It is at that time of reflection on Christ’s purpose of coming into this world that we find that place of hope, that place of repentance that frees us from guilt and shame and gives us hope for the future.
We mourn with those who lost loved ones, yet we can have a hope based on the events of Advent we shall see unfold around us in the coming weeks.
I have not always been a big lover of Christmas, but the older I get, the more I am coming to love the season for the Christ who is the centre of it, the beginning of it all.
I leave you with this passage of Isaiah who wrote this well over 400 years before Jesus was born. A prophet born himself in a dark time as he prophesied that there was coming a day when things would be better.
Isaiah 60:1-3 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”