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Viewpoint from Revd Albert Cadmore 08/01/2021

ALBERT CADMORERevd Albert Cadmore
formerly Parish Priest at West Somerton and Horsey

 

Every year that passes by, there are always those who can look back over the year that has gone and reflect on difficult and dark times facing the hardships, sorrows, and challenges of illness, bereavement and other traumatic events.  During 2020, as a community, we have all had to face the anxieties and challenges brought to us by the Coronavirus COVID-19.  Some will have faced the heartache of bereavement whilst others may have recovered or be recovering from the virus.  The loneliness of ‘lockdown’ has proved to be almost too much to bear for some others, and we all know that many have suffered mentally whilst others have suffered physically as the virus has taken hold
 
 
dove leftI believe the challenge that I have in writing this message is to give a positive, encouraging and reassuring message of hope to take us forward into 2021 and the symbol of the lighted candle is one that comes readily to mind.  Cathedrals, abbeys, and churches often present the opportunity to visitors to light a candle and leave a prayer or message, and for me every such candle is a symbol of hope that those prayers or petitions may be answered.  Many who light such candles are not deeply religious but are nevertheless reaching out to the mystery that people of faith refer to as God
 
 
For me, such candles are indelibly linked with the light of the world alluded to in the Bible in the first chapter of John’s Gospel.  The Word of God, that in translation we might refer to as the mind of God, the logic of God or the Spirit of God, is described as being the source of life, in Creation, and as bringing light to mankind.  John refers to it as, the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never put it out, and he is, of course, pointing the people to the coming ministry of Jesus, who John records as saying, “I am the light of the world”
 
 
Dove rightThe light of the world can be there for us symbolically in those candles of hope.  I believe that light and those candles can inspire us all and give us hope in what so often seems to be a very dark world.  Back in July, many of us lit such candles of hope in our homes to remember those who had succumbed to COVID-19
 
 
In the 1850s the artist William Holman Hunt painted a famous image of Jesus as the Light of the World. The original painting is at Keble College Oxford, but a second copy is displayed in Manchester Art Gallery.  Around 1900, a third version was painted that hangs in St Paul’s Cathedral.  Through the imagery of Jesus as the Light of the World, and the message of hope that faith brings, that painting has provided a powerful message of hope in dark times to many people
 
 
My message is a message of hope, and, in difficult, dark and challenging times, look to the soothing and flickering light of a candle, and reflect on the concept of hope, on the light that shines in the darkness, and on Jesus as the light of the world
 
 
In St Paul’s letter to the early Christians in the church in Rome, he encouraged them with the message, “Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times”.  May the answer to our prayers be happier and healthier times ahead in 2021 and beyond – Happy New Year

 

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury

 


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