Thought for the Week

By Rev James McNay, West Kilbride Parish Church

The nights are fair drawin' in aren't they?

One minute it is summer (of a type) with long, expansive days and before we know it, autumn is upon us.

And those long days spreading into the late evening become shorter and shorter as the darkness creeps in.

Personally, I am not as fond of this time of the year as I am of the spring. I like that feeling of the spring that we are going in the 'right direction' with the days getting longer and longer.

I'm not so enamoured with this time of year as the darkness begins to creep in earlier and earlier. For me, the autumn is the wrong direction.

I think there is part of us that is made not to enjoy the darkness. Many children are afraid of the dark. Indeed, I was speaking to someone the other day who is well into retirement, but still leaves their light on at night because they don't like the darkness.

Nowadays, with the advent of electric lighting, we rarely experience complete darkness - when it is absolutely pitch black. When we do, it can be a scary experience. You can't see an inch in front of your face; you can't see where you are going and so you fear you will fall.

Sometimes in our lives, we aren't physically in the dark, but we feel like we are in a dark place in our lives due to circumstances or our own actions which we regret.

When we are in darkness - physically and metaphorically - we long for light. We long for better days.

There is, of course, a lot about light in the Bible.

Jesus says: Anyone who walks in the day-time will not stumble, for they see by this world's light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light. (John 11:9,10)

Jesus also says: 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life'. (John 8:12)