Date:  December 17, 2022

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

My name is Ruth and I’m the Church Relationships Team Leader, UK. Today I want to share with you some reflections for the fourth week of Advent.

I love this time of year. Christmas for me is filled with meeting up with loved ones, enjoying some truly Scottish winter days and enjoying the richness of the festivities around us. 

This year, Christmas has taken on a deeper meaning as I prepare to have my first child in the new year. The story of Christmas is resonating with me on a more profound level, as I reflect on what it might have been like for Mary as she prepared to give birth in very different circumstances – fleeing from persecution, yet with the knowledge that she was carrying something so precious. 

It also makes me think of Rebeca, whom we interviewed in 2021 for our ‘Let Her Be Heard’ report on indigenous religious minority women in Mexico. Rebeca and her family have been living without access to essential services like light and electricity since she was one month pregnant, because they are members of a religious minority in their village. Nine months later, this meant changing her daughter’s night-time nappies by the light of a flickering candle. 

‘I had my daughter in the time when we had no light… the little girl has learned to live in the dark.’ 

Christmas is a celebration of God breaking through darkness with glorious light. And Rebeca’s story reminds me of the significance of what CSW does, as we – in partnership with you – continue to work until no one faces injustice or darkness because of their religion or belief. 

Join me in praying this week…

  • For Rebeca and the other Protestant Christian families in El Encanto village in Mexico. Pray that they would know the peace and love of God even more tangibly this Christmas, and for their essential services to be restored.
  • For the whole of Latin America, where countless people face injustice because of their religion or belief. Pray that all will be free to believe, from Cuba to Mexico to Nicaragua, Colombia, and Chile.
  • Give thanks for our Latin America team and for their hard work bringing the Let Her Be Heard report and campaign to life.
  • And finally, pray for those around the world who are worried or fearful around Christmas. In many places, Christians are especially targeted around major Christian festivals such as Christmas. Pray that they are able to celebrate Christmas safely with loved ones.