Let me begin by sharing with you a little of what I did last weekend.
My wife and I had some time off and had the opportunity of visiting a son and daughter who are studying in England. This meant we got to stay in the historical city of Chester and enjoy an afternoon in Ambleside on the shores of Lake Windermere. We had opportunities to shop, eat out, go to the Zoo, watch movies, play guitars and sing and just chillax together. My wife and I even squeezed in a wee daytrip to the epic landscape of Snowdonia in Wales.
The word that most often came to my mind was ‘delight’. Parents’ delight in children growing up and doing so well in so many ways. Siblings’ delight in shared time and much laughter. Set against a backdrop of dry weather and magnificent Autumn countryside. The trees were turning a multitude of reds and golds, gently shedding their leaves to create crisp carpet pile for children (and some adults) to tramp through.
So this weekend, as the enemy of our souls has tricked many into celebrating death and evil, I will choose to delight instead in the beautiful and the good. Instead of festooning my home with emblems of darkness and fear I will praise the Creator, Whose season of pre-winter shedding has such poetic colour and majesty. I will call to mind the New Testament teaching of God as Gardener Who only cuts things back that we might flourish anew and be even more fruitful.
As some utter spells and curses under the moon, I will give thanks to the One Who has provided the sun and moon to light our way by day and by night. I will celebrate Communion this Sunday and remember Jesus, Light of the World, Who loves us and gave Himself for us, Who died but rose in triumph over death and darkness to give eternal life to His followers.
As I choose to rejoice in God my Saviour, His Law and Word of grace, I welcome the ongoing presence of His Spirit with me, and with those I love and commit to Him in prayer. As He comforts and guides me in the ways of God’s children, as I rest in the assurance of His grace and love, I will delight in those He has given me to be my family. My physical family at home and across the sea, and my ‘extended’ family in church, at work and in the community.
As our faces reflect the glow of the fireworks this weekend, I choose to delight in the Heavenly Father Who delights in us, and will seek to reflect His love.