Splendour of eternal light
Sarah Mallon, Supporter Engagement Officer for West Scotland, reflects on the darkness in the world and how Mary’s Meals is bringing light into the lives of so many hungry children.
December’s cold, dark nights can seem long and unyielding, and when the sun finally arrives it can feel like a small miracle, especially for those of us living in the West of Scotland! One piece of music that I find particularly striking at this time of year is O Radiant Dawn by a Scottish composer, James Macmillan. The piece is based on one of the O Antiphons, traditional Christian chants for Advent which prepare us for the coming of Christ at Christmas:
“O Radiant Dawn,
Splendour of eternal light, sun of justice:
Come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
Shadow of death”
While the world may be dark around us and injustice in our midst, we know that Jesus, the light of the world, has come to bring peace, joy and hope. He has promised us, in the Gospel of John, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”.
In our work at Mary’s Meals, we don’t turn away from the darkness and suffering in our world, nor do we see it as the end of the story. A meal served to a child at school can seem like a small thing, amidst the difficulties of war, conflict and poverty. Yet we are all witnesses to how this small light has the power to make a great difference.
Elizabeth has been a volunteer cook in South Sudan for six years, and she shared with us that, since the arrival of Mary’s Meals, “many children are in school and parents are happy... this food is the driving energy in this community”. We give thanks for the volunteers like Elizabeth who give of their time so faithfully, making it possible for our meals to reach more than 2.4 million children every school day.
In the run up to Christmas, I am humbled by the glimpses of light I see every day from people across the Mary’s Meals family – people praying for our mission, supporters organising Christmas fundraising concerts or choosing our gift cards to give to loved ones. We go forward to Christmas and into the New Year recognising the dark shadow that hunger still casts across our world, but with a quiet, earnest hope that every child receiving our meals is a light piercing this darkness, building towards a brighter future.
Supporter Engagement Officer
Pray With Us:
- We pray for all those around the world who are suffering this Christmas, including those in the midst of war, experiencing grief, loneliness or hunger. May Christ be with them, bringing comfort and consolation, and may we find ways to reach out and help, sharing our time, love and resources.
- We ask God to bless and protect our work as we look ahead to another year providing Mary’s Meals to children living in poverty. May God guide us through any challenges that we face and help us to keep our promise to the precious children we serve.
- We pray for all members of the Mary’s Meals family – the children and their families, our volunteers, supporters, staff and partners. May God bless them, and help them continue to spread light and hope in our world.