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After weeks of heartening sunshine, April showers have finally arrived and our skies are overcast and cloudy at present.

Sunshine can be a powerful restorative, bathing our surroundings in light, and many people are powerfully affected by the weather and the amount of sunshine we can see. Moods are often lifted by sunny, bright skies, and even lockdown seemed more bearable when there were blue skies overhead!

John tells us that Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:32) and that ‘in him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.’ (John 1:4) No matter what darkness – physical or spiritual – which surrounds us, ‘the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ (John 1:5) God is himself light and in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

We have John 1:5 printed in the foyer of our church building alongside a painting representing blazing light. This light is not just the tremulous flickering of a candle; it is the scorching, blazing, brilliant light which can never be extinguished.

I once visited Malta in March to celebrate my 50th birthday, leaving clouds and drizzle in the UK to arrive to blazing, dazzling sunshine that made me squint and blink. I’d never seen sunshine that bright in March in my life. The light of Jesus is so much brighter.

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We may feel we are living through dark and difficult times, the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ of pandemic that perhaps we’ve only read about in history books. We may feel that death and doom have the upper hand at present. But the truth is the light is still shining in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. Jesus will not be snuffed out. Light will not be conquered. It cannot and will not be quenched. Because of that, we can hope.