In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

It doesn’t take much to notice that the world is not an altogether bright and happy place. There is darkness and at times it can be very strong. Those who have experienced the pain and distance of depression can testify particularly to this yet I imagine we all know something of it. At times we may despair at our lives, our failures, or even the world around us. Yet Christians affirm that no matter how great the darkness still the light shines. There is always hope, and there will always be hope, because of Christ.

If this is true – if Christ’s light was not overcome by darkness but still shines today – then we have a great hope. If we have come and taken refuge in Jesus, he will not let us fall – the darkness cannot overcome his light. As we take refuge in him over the next year we can have confidence that he will hold us and be with us.

This is our challenge and also our hope: to remain Christ focussed, not moving away from the light and back into the darkness. Our greatest priority and desire should therefore be to hold on to his light above all else. Staying close to the light; keeping our eyes upon him. In this way we can have life in ourselves and others will find life through us.

Practically speaking, this means resolving and praying for a commitment to meditation, reading and contemplation in the year ahead.

Here’s a prayer we could pray:

Father, thank you for the light of your Son, Jesus. Thank you that he has overcome death and darkness and his light cannot ever be put out. I pray for the discipline to put aside other distractions and focus on you, my Lord and King, for you are the source of all life and light and the only true rest for my soul and mind. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.