We Don’t Have to be Afraid of the Dark

Friends, I’m not sure how many of us got to experience the solar eclipse this week, but even amidst cloud cover it was an awe-inspiring experience to behold. On a presbytery call last night, the moderator shared that a total solar eclipse offers us a lot of metaphors for ministry and for life, such as:

  1. We are ultimately not in control of the universe.
  2. Opportunities for awe and wonder exist all around us, even on days when it’s cloudy literally or emotionally.
  3. Just because one does not see the sun (because it is being eclipsed by the moon or by other events beyond our control), the sun still exists and will, with time, emerge again; and much of our job as Christians (and ministers) journeying with one another is to not be afraid of the dark, for the light has and will come.

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 139:11-14:

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and night wraps itself around me,”
even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For it was you who formed my inward parts;you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

As the Easter season continues to unfold, and we journey with the Risen Christ into resurrection life, may you remember that your very presence serves as a night light for your community of faith. Your faith, leadership, and humanity offers a reflection of the light we know and see in Jesus Christ – a light that shines in the darkness and will not be overcome.

I heard an interview with someone this week about what they took away from the eclipse on Monday, and they said, “We are all just specks of dust in a beam of light, but that light is pretty awesome and it’s so cool we get to be part of it!” I agree, it is cool we get to be part of the Light, even amidst the craziness that an April on a college campus brings.

Eugene Peterson’s version of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:16 are this:

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

Keep shining, friends!

Blessings and joy,