Throughout November, my family and I have been joining with others across the country, to pray for our nation – individuals known only to ourselves, Government ministers, Her Majesty the Queen, local concerns, the NHS, the economy, those with physical and mental health needs…the list goes on.

We light a candle and say a brief prayer.  Possibly, this takes less than a minute, and yet, that minute has become a cherished time of peace, a Quiet Time when we meet with God and bring to him those things which overwhelm us.  We place into his all-knowing our lack of knowing.  We give our weakness into his strength.  He gives us his hope in the darkness of despair.

Our single, small candle, gives only a small light.  However, when joined with all the other candles being lit across the nation, it – and they – declare an eternal truth, that Jesus, the Light of the World, HAS overcome the darkness.  In him is life, and it is his life which gives light to all mankind.

As believers in Jesus we, at this time of fear and confusion amongst our nation, have the opportunity and amazing privilege of reflecting that life-giving light to others, of showing that he HAS overcome our personal darkness.  “To those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God …born of God.” (John 1:12-13).  “Dear friends, now we are children of God…..we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:”)

In the words of the hymn, “We have a hope that is steadfast and certain.”  The writer to the Hebrews said, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19) and the Apostle Peter exhorts us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15)

Yes, these are challenging times, but we can light our candle of hope each day as we trust in Jesus.

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. 

I dare not trust the sweetest frame  but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness veils his lovely face, I’ll rest on his unchanging grace.   

In every high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil.   

            His oath, his covenant, his blood support me in the o’er-whelming flood;   

when all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and sway.” 

(Edward Mote 1834)