I would like to read a reflection from a book by Robert Fulgham. He writes the following:
"When I was a small child, during the war, we were very poor and we lived in a remote village. One day, on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror. A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place.
I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept only the largest piece. This one. And by scratching it on a stone I made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light in to dark places where the sun would never shine - in deep holes and crevices and dark closets. It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places I could find.
I kept the little mirror, and as I went about my growing up, I would take it out in idle moments and continue the challenge of the game. As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child's game but a metaphor for what I might do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of light. But light - truth, understanding, knowledge - is there, and it will only shine in many dark places if I reflect it.
I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of this world - into the black places in the hearts of me - and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of life."
Most of us can identify with the image of a cracked and broken mirror, because often it is how we ourselves feel: broken and fragmented, and sometimes with sharp edges and sometimes feeling like we are only a piece of something much bigger that we have lost sight of. And yet even a broken piece of mirror still has the ability to shine and reflect light.
At Christmas we speak of the Light of God coming into the darkness of this world in Jesus.
But we make a mistake if we think that somehow the Light is only contained in Jesus. Jesus reminds us in Matthew’s Gospel that we too are meant to be lights in this world, like Robert Fulgham, coming to see that our true meaning in life is found when we learn to reflect the light of God into the dark places of this world, beginning with the dark places in our own hearts.
Christmas was never meant to be a once off event in the past. Christmas was always intended to be repeated over and over again, every day in each of our hearts as we learn to become the Light of the World, learning to reflect and shine the light of Christ into the darkness.
Christmas only becomes meaningful when we allow Christ the light of the world to be born within our hearts and in our actions, when we allow the light of Christ to be reflected from us towards others, even when all we have to offer are the broken pieces of ourselves.
And so may Christmas be repeated this year as we allow the Light of Christ to be born in our hearts and as we become the light of the world for others. Amen.