Vicar’s Reflection: Christmas Eve, 24th December 2018 Midnight
We gather tonight in darkness, in the middle of the night when most sensible people are tucked up in bed. The darkness around us is punctuated by Christmas lights and if the sky is clear by a full moon. At this darkest moment, as the earth turns its face from the sun, we gather to celebrate the arrival of the light sent from God, this baby born in poverty and vulnerability as one of us. Darkness and light come together to define the shape of his presence in our world. In art you can produce an image by working just on the way light and shadow fall on it. The term for this is ‘Chiaroscuro’. Some famous works by Rembrandt use this technique. ‘The Night Watch’ is the best known. Another is The Birth of Christ, in which he uses this technique to ensure all eyes are drawn to the baby Jesus. He is not the central figure, but our eyes are drawn to him because he seems to be the main light source. In this way Rembrandt declares his faith in Jesus as the Light of the World. In his life-time Jesus was not a central figure in history. He was born in troubled times and trouble followed him. Darkness swirled around him serving only to more dramatically illuminate the light he brought into every situation and every dark corner of our hearts and our world. May Christ’s light continue to shine on in each one of us!