December 18

Genesis 1:1-9, Lightlynn_small

By Lynn Osgood

History has its cycles, and the cycle we are living through today can feel particularly rancorous.  In a nation that seems bent upon dividing itself in two, we wake every day to hear and ingest the world’s bitterness.  So in these times, there is nothing we long for with more earnestness than to find Light in our world.  We search both within and outside ourselves to find a Light that will give us solace, a Light that shows the darkness of the world to be mere shadows, a Light that renders the unfathomable into pictures of wholeness, and a Light that lets the darkness we see in ourselves (and so quickly identify in others) to dissipate in a wash of grace and empathy.

As we search our world and ourselves for these moments of grace, we yearn for the power to quite simply say, “Now let there be Light,” and invoke the grace that can soothe our souls.  It is there however that we must give pause, for I believe we must never seek the Light too quickly – to seek it before we are really ready to stand in its witness.  If we move too quickly into erasing our discomfort of the darkness, I believe we chip away at our own ability to truly know the Light in its fullness.

I was taken aback this week, while listening to the radio and hearing singer Joyce DiDonato talk about a request she put out to her community.  In this request she asked, “In the midst of chaos, tell me how you find peace.”  One of the replies that returned to her was from Joseph Wilson, a musician living in incarceration in Sing Sing prison.  In Joseph’s journey with his own brokenness he invoked that moment when God said, “Let there be Light.” He wrote, “One would then have to reason that God himself was dwelling in the darkness.”

Could our own ability to stand in the darkness, to stand in that space where we most earnestly yearn for Light, in fact be one of the deepest moments of communion we share with God?

As we move towards the season of Light let us pray: Lord, grant us the ability to stay in witness to the darkness, so that we can feel You being born. 

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