Can I be honest with you about something? I detest fall.
The days get shorter. The rain never stops. The wind and cold bite at our finger tips. And while the leaves are beautiful, their falling reminds me of the reality of death. This year death seems to be closer than ever before. In one month’s time, five people who were connected to Kerr passed from this life to the next. And the murders at Tree of Life Synagogue reminded us all of the depths of human sin and evil. Darkness presses in all around.
What is a Christian response to the dreariness of the world, both physical and spiritual?
John Chapter 1 remind us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” There was another time when darkness came over the world. As our Lord Jesus Christ hung on the cross, clouds covered the sky; the Gospel writers remind us that noon felt like midnight. All hope was lost as Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, the Messiah, the Savor of All, was cruelly murdered for sins he did not commit.
And yet, this was not the end of the story. And it is not the end of our story. Despite the fact that it seemed like Satan had won as the Son of God cried out in anguish at his death, God had a plan. God was using even this–even suffering and death–to teach us what it means to truly Love, to have real Hope, to trust in Truth even when we cannot see it.
In the midst of our own brokenness, our sin as a city, our mourning as a community, our sorrow of the season, God is at work. God is providing small beams of light so that we can see God’s goodness. The brilliant red of Japanese Maples; the laughter of children collecting Halloween candy; the goodness of friends who pack the church with pies and cookies to remember a dear friend are reminders of God’s steadfast love.
God’s light is brighter than any evil, than any darkness, than any sorrow. And through the power of the Holy Spirit, the light of God is in you. You are blessed so that you may be a blessing. Let us take time during this Season of Advent to watch and wait for the light of God to shine in the darkness.
Grace & Peace, Rev. KJ Norris