On 27th December a small group of us walked to the top Sugarloaf, a local mountain, for the sunrise (our mountains aren’t mountains in the sense of the Rockies or the Alps, but we like them).It was a clear and bitterly cold morning and we didn’t linger long on the exposed peak.As we descended we got a perfect sunrise over the Irish Sea to the east of us.
The symbolism for me of climbing to that mountaintop for the sunrise over the past five years has been that 27th December is the feast of Saint John the Evangelist, the one who wrote of Jesus in the first chapter of the Gospel as the Light shining in the darkness.
I looked at the sunrise and thought that as far as I was concerned there was still a lot of darkness to cope with in life and that there were times when the light didn’t seem very bright.
Looking around at the mountains that were still in darkness, I then caught a sense of something I had missed. Saint John says the Light has shone in the darkness and that the darkness has not overcome it.He doesn’t say that the darkness has gone away.
Christians look to Jesus as the Light because we are surrounded by the darkness of the world, if the darkness were not there we could see the way for ourselves.
May the one who is the sunrise on a dark Irish mountainside be a light through all the darkness of the year ahead.