There is no doubt that we are in the season of lights. From a single strand of multicolored bulbs run across the porch to the neighbor that challenges the power grid on a yearly basis, we love us some lights.
In fact, we do everything we can to drive away the darkness, at least until it’s time for bed. We prefer the light. There is comfort in the light. We even use light as a metaphor for Jesus.
But, if we want to get to that light, the light that is Jesus, we have to go into the darkness. Not just any darkness, but the deepest darkness of our hearts, minds, communities and our lives.
It is only by facing and going into our darkness that the radiance of radical grace can be born in our lives, both personally and collectively. This is the journey of confession and repentance. This is the cycle of the seasons. This is the story and power and beauty of the gospel. It includes both the darkness and the light, the death and resurrection. Without traversing into the darkness, the new light in our lives can never be born.
This is why the early Christians placed the feast of Christmas on the 25th of December. The earth (at least in the northern hemisphere) reaches peak darkness on the solstice, the 21st. It takes three days before the human eye can begin to perceive the light coming back.
Darkness. Three days. Then light. Sound familiar?
Darkness plays a sacred role in our search for the light. Let us not fear the darkness, but embrace the gift that comes from it, the rebirth of the radiance.
VERSE: 2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
Prayer: O God of sacred darkness, help us to not shy away from the soul searching that must be done in dark places. Help us, we pray, to press through the darkness until and find the grace and light you have for us there.