A Pastoral Word
The Season of Lent began on Wednesday, February 17th with Ash Wednesday and we began our journey to the cross. Each week during our worship service through the Season of Lent, we will take a moment and extinguish a Lenten candle. After extinguishing the candle, we will name a broken relationship in the world: violence, not taking care of God’s creation, basic needs not being met, war and oppression. And then, we sing a song, “Our Darkness”. As we make our way through Lent and as I watch the light of the candles be extinguished each week, the darkness creeps in just a little more and I find that the words to the song resonate with me more and more. “Our darkness is never darkness in your sight; the deepest night is clear as the daylight.” The closer and closer that we get to the cross, the more and more afraid we become, the more and more unsure we become, the more and more lonely we become and we begin to wonder when will the Darkness overtake the Light. Even on the Darkest Night, Maundy Thursday, one candle will be left burning and that candle is the Christ Candle. At the end of the service we will watch the light of Christ being led out of the sanctuary to the cross. We will hear the three hammer blows and we will wonder has the Darkness overtaken the Light. But we remember that we are people of the resurrection. We are people of the Good News. We hold firm to the hope, to the promise that even on the Darkest Night, even on our Darkest Night, God is there, holding us in the palm of God’s hand. God is there, shining the Light of Peace, the Light of Hope, the Light of Love, the Light of Joy, and leading us home.
As we continue on our Lenten journey, let us always remember that the Darkness will not overcome the Light and that the Light brings us healing, wholeness and hope. In the Light, our wounds are revealed. And as we examine our wounds, we begin to understand that our wounds are not as deep as we first thought, are not as terminal as we first thought, are not as incurable as we first thought because we realize that in the Light of Christ, we see clearly. We begin to understand that our wounds are signs of hope. Our wounds are signs of faith, are signs of new life, are signs that God is still working in our world.