Light at the end of the tunnel - 22/11/2020 with Rev John Wilkinson

Over the past week or so Hindus all around the world have been celebrating Divali the festival of light celebrating that there is always Light at the end of the tunnel. 

From the Sanscrit!

“Look to this day

For it is the very life of life

In its brief course lie all the verities

And realities in your existence

The bliss of growth

The glory of action, the splendour of beauty

For yesterday it is but a dream

And tomorrow is only a vision

But today well lived makes yesterday a dream of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day”

Chalice lighting

The Lord said “Let there be Light”

And there was light,

The light of promise,

The light of hope

The light of wisdom,

The light of knowledge

The light of community

The light of friendship

The light of Love

The light of Freedom

The light of Tolerance

The light of Reason

The light of Truth!


Green 280 Morning has Broken

Green to go. red to stop, amber to sit and wait

Do you feel as though we have been governed by the amber light for ever?

The government keep promising that shut down is only going to be for a limited time

And when the time comes around we get a short reprieve and then lockdown again.

It is like sitting at broken traffic lights stop go wait

Stop go wait

Its limbo time

do you think that could be where the name of the Limbo dance came from?

People bending over backwards to do the impossible

It certainly seems that that is what we are trying to do as we wait for somebody to come up with a vaccine.

Perhaps that’s what we all aught to do, Limbo dancing. It would pass the time and you don’t need a partner.

88 Let it be a dance we do

When a sailing ship is becalmed it is called

being in the doldrums

The Doldrums are an area of the sea where the East and West trade winds cannot decide which way they want to go and the sails just hang loose, dangling from the cross trees and mast

Sailors would try everything to get the ship moving again.

They would throw water on the sails to try to catch any slight breeze that arose . But throwing water at a virus by hand washing or blowing into a facemask doesn’t seem to have much effect does it? The virus still keeps growing.

In modern society we don’t have time for such luxury as sitting waiting for the wind to get up

We put ourselves under pressure

We have to be continually doing something

In my doctors surgery at Wheatley they used to have a sign saying God often says wait but he never says worry.

That’s pretty good advice for us during this time

When you stop worrying you do have time to sit back and enjoy what you have

I just wish I could do that!

But I was brought up to have the protestant work ethic

And find simply ‘being’ very difficult.

How about You ?

Have you seen the light?

Light is a very ‘busy’ word.

The word is used for so many different concepts isn’t it?

We talk about times of light as good times

and dark times as bad times

We talk about the light of understanding and the darkness of ignorance

WE talk about light heartedness and contrast it with heavy hearts.

WE contrast light with heavy

Light with darkness

Light with knowledge dark with stupidity

We lighten the mood and dampen the spirit

Light appears to be the one ‘go to’ word for good things whilst there are any number of words used to express bad things.

During this pandemic we are told to live in isolation

To live in darkness

And we pray that we see that light at the end of the tunnel

Have you been through a long tunnel?

As you enter the light behind you seems to fade quite quickly as you strain forward to see the light at the far end

The further you go in

the darker it gets until there is only a pinpoint of light behind you and you strain to see the light in front of you

If this is your first time You know the tunnel has an exit because you have been told there is

but you cannot see it and you rely upon your

Faith that your informant is telling the truth.

AS alone as you feel You have to believe that you are not completely isolated

You have to believe what somebody else. Has told you.

You are not alone

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Eventually you think that you see a pin prick of light but then you doubt your own eyes

They have grown accustomed to the dark and start to play tricks on you

You Blink trying to get a clear view and the light appears to come and go. As your eyes clear so the pinprick becomes clearer and grows until you are sure you are approaching the light

In the dim distance A light at last

A light is evidence of a power source.

It is proof that we are not alone however alone and desperate we may feel

Awareness of that other is a great comforter

There are many sayings that are there that promise to comfort us in our hour of need

We have expressions such as

“We can see light at the end of the tunnel”

“Where there is life there is hope “ etc.

Evangelical Christians talk about seeing the light

Or saying thigs like “when I Lived in darkness. “

Main line churches have formulated liturgies that are recited regularly to assure and reassure their followers that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

If you repeat a message time and time again you reach a stage when it no longer matters whether it is true or not, You believe it.

The message becomes so imprinted on the human brain that it becomes second nature

It is no longer a belief it is an incontrovertible established fact.

A word of warning!

Knowing the difference between good and bad is not as simple as it sounds.

It is interesting that religious Cults and Communist groups who use similar methods of recitation but with different messages and then conservative evangelicals are also condemned for brain washing

It could be said that recitation of liturgy is a form of brain washing.

Who is to be trusted? what is fake news? and what is the truth?

As Unitarians we place ‘Reason’ at the top of our agenda

We need to be able to question the proof and reach our own conclusion.

Reason has the ability to enlighten in quite startling ways

Some people talk about having light bulb moments when

Understanding suddenly awakens

But we need to argue the case in a reasonable manner

What is the evidence for and the evidence against?

Is our understanding reasoned evidence.

Does the light exist or are we fooling ourselves.

Do we have to wait for absolute proof of everything before we commit or can we make a reasonable assumption?

Human beings have been given the ability to make reasonable arguments and base our decisions on reason.

Purple 129 Ours is a gift

A meditation

John Smith’s Gospel

Reason is pre-eminent

God is Reason

God has reason

There is reason for everything

Nothing exists without reason

There is reason in life and life in reason

Reason is the light of life for all humanity

The light of reason dispels the darkness of ignorance

The light of reason came through the grace of God

Reason was explained by God’s witness

He was a witness to the light

He was not the light, but a witness to the light that all may believe through hearing his evidence

This was the true light that comes into the world through his witnessing

The truth was in the world, but the world still did not know it.

The few that did understand reason were given authority to be called children of God.

Not through their blood nor the will of flesh or humanity but through reason, reason became flesh and lived among us

And we glorify ‘reason’ as coming direct from God

‘Reason’ is God’s gift to humankind.


Candles of joy and concern

Purple196 We sing the faith which gives us confidence


The main line churches are missing their weekly dose of liturgical brain washing but what is it that Unitarians miss ?

What are you missing during the lockdown?

Conversation? discussion ? companionship , being with like minded people?, What do you miss?

Physical contact?

‘Freedom’ from restriction?

How can we rectify these?

Purple 165 The Spirit lives to set us free

Green 280 Morning has Broken

Purple 129 Ours is a gift

196 We sing the faith which gives us confidence

88 Let it be a dance we do

165 The Spirit lives to set us free