Tag Archives: darkness

Looking Out The Window

 

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Light and darkness. They’re important in the Genesis story. They’re also important in our morning and evening prayers. The Genesis story offers a pattern for daily prayer.

“God saw light and said it was good.” the Book of Genesis says. God creates light, then sunlight, first. Then, holding this bright lamp, God goes about creating the world day by day in the darkness.  Each day ends in darkness, but God goes to work the next day, light in hand, and new things come to be. Like us, God works day by day.

“Send forth your light and your truth, let these be my guide.” The morning psalms each day repeatedly ask for light to continue God’s work.

“Your word is a lamp for my steps, a light for my path.” The evening psalms prepare us for the darkness of night, when we rest. But God’s work will go on. Night for us is a time for trust and leaving the world in God’s hands. “Truly I have set my soul in silence and peace, As a child in its mother’s arms. even so my soul.” (Psalm 131, Tues.3)

Before television and radio and the complex scientific weather reports we get now, I think we looked out the window more to see the dawn, the dusk, the light and darkness. Should we stop looking out the window?

I don’t think so. Maybe we should look out the window more each morning and evening and try to see the light and darkness as the Book of Genesis suggests. We learn from them. God works day by day. So, “What am I going to do today?” Whatever we do, we should do it thankfully, by the light of God’s grace.

And don’t forget how the days of Genesis end. God rests and says it’s good. Something of God’s rest and appreciation, praise and thanksgiving, should be in us as we go through our days of creation.

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is called “the true light that enlightens everyone who comes into this world.”

The everyday sun promises the Sun that enlightens everyone.

Lamp for a Dark Place

Spring Lake even

The sky over the boardwalk at Spring Lake, New Jersey, is sometimes swept with colors before nightfall. Then, a lamp is the only light till dawn.

The sun will rise again and the great Sun will also rise again, Augustine says. Then  “lamps will no longer be needed. When that day is at hand, the prophet will not be read to us, the book of the Apostle will not be opened, we shall not require the testimony of John, we shall have no need of the Gospel itself. Therefore all Scriptures will be taken away from us, those Scriptures which in the night of this world burned like lamps so that we might not remain in darkness.”

Darkness is temporary; we are meant for light.

“I implore you to love with me and, by believing, to run with me; let us long for our heavenly country, let us sigh for our heavenly home, let us truly feel that here we are strangers. What shall we then see? Let the gospel tell us: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. You will come to the fountain, with whose dew you have already been sprinkled.

“Instead of the ray of light which was sent through slanting and winding ways into the heart of your darkness, you will see the light itself in all its purity and brightness. It is to see and experience this light that you are now being cleansed. Dearly beloved, John himself says, we are the sons of God, and it has not yet been disclosed what we shall be; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

“I feel that your spirits are being raised up with mine to the heavens above; but the body which is corruptible weighs down the soul, and this earthly tent burdens the thoughtful mind. I am about to lay aside this book, and you are soon going away, each to his own business. It has been good for us to share the common light, good to have enjoyed ourselves, good to have been glad together. When we part from one another, let us not depart from him.”

Morning Thoughts: Sure and Steady

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Jusepe (Jose) de Ribera, “Tightrope Walkers”, 1634

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The brighter the light the more we squint.

The closer we get the less we see.

And if we stare we go blind.

Now what?

You have to trust.

In what?

Not in yourselves.

In total darkness the answer is clear.

All other ways disappear.

Close your eyes.

Shutter your ears.

Forget the past.

Ignore what is below.

Chin slightly elevated.

Now walk.

No need to go too slow.

Sure and steady.

Heart on the goal.

And if we slip?

Don’t worry.

I made the rope.

I hold it tight.

My Son is the way, the truth, and the life.

In Him you never fall.

In Him you know.

In Him you live.

He walks before you.

You may not see Him but He is there.

Follow close behind.

It is a tight walk.

That’s why I gave Him a pole.

I gave you one too.

And because it can get very dark.

I made them easy to identify.

They are made of thick dead wood.

Your hands know their splinters and knots.

Hold tight.

Say thank You.

Kiss in the dark what you cannot see.

For that old piece of wood.

Will get you across the gorge.

Where on the other side.

It will be planted.

Grafted into the Tree of Life.


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—Howard Hain

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