Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In the dark

God does God’s best work in the dark.

In darkness, God called out light.

But darkness, not light, is the birthplace of all creation. The story continues, “And it was evening, and it was morning; the first/second/third/etc. day.” In other words, the six ‘days’ of creative activity are, in fact, nights, ushered in by evening as the light fades and drawn to a close by morning as the light returns.

It is in that same darkness that God draws out femaleness and maleness from within humanness.

It is in the dark that God enters into a covenant with Abra(ha)m, having led him out to count the stars (long before light pollution), if that were possible, for so many would Abram’s descendants be.

Elsewhere, it is in the dark – physical and metaphorical and psychological – that God reveals to Job the extent to which the ongoing activity of creation still depends on the darkness within and from which it first responded to God.

It is in the dark that God reveals to Abraham’s run-away grandson Jacob the very gate between earth and heaven, busy with angels passing in both directions; and in the dark that God wrestles with Jacob all night, when he returned again to face his brother, his fears, his self.

It is in the dark that God speaks to Abraham’s great-grandson Joseph, in dreams beneath a starry sky, and the interpretation of dreams in a prison-house.

It is in the dark that God comes to lead his captive people out of slavery in Egypt; in the dark that they cross over the Sea of Reeds; in thick darkness on Mount Sinai that God meets with Moses and gives the Law, the shape of loving God and loving your neighbour in the same way as yourself.

It is in the dark that God teaches David to sing, Solomon to love, Elijah to hear the awesome sound of silence, Jonah to hope, Jeremiah to lament, Ezekiel and Daniel to foresee, Nehemiah to see.

It is in the dark that Jesus is born; and in darkness that shepherds and magi are led to worship him.

It is in the dark that Jesus goes to meet alone with his Father God.

It is in the dark that Jesus faces arrest and trial, strengthened by whatever it is that God is doing regardless of what people are doing in the darkness; and it is in darkness so thick that Jesus feels forsaken that God receives his spirit as he breathes his last.

It is in the dark that Jesus is brought back from death, in resurrection life.

In the dark, we learn to walk by faith and not by sight.

If you find yourself in the dark right now, take heart. You are in good company.

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