I experienced it just this week, you see.
I saw with my own eyes what it looks like when God’s Own step into the darkness of their own hard earned struggle and pain and fear and meet Jesus there.
I saw grace over a funeral lunch where individuals who once considered themselves family did not for a time and then in a single shining moment were able to reach across what had divided them.
It was a hard coming to this and it was perhaps the most beautiful thing I have witnessed in quite some time.
Indeed, it shone so bright it burned my eyes and softened my heart and planted hope there once more.
And yes, this is precisely what happens when we step into the darkness of today’s Gospel reading and all that preceded it.
- It is what happens as we see Jesus hanging there begging forgiveness for those who evidently see no need of it yet themselves.
- It is what happens as we witness his very clothing being divided, leaders of this world mocking him, and a criminal hanging beside him echoing those cries of disrespect resounding at their feet.
It is as we put one foot in front of the other and step into this darkness that somehow the light shines through and we hear words of forgiveness and promise. And we are invited into the Reign of Christ — transferred there if you will — in the poetic words of Colossians — by the power and grace of the one who died on that cross so long ago.
I saw it this week at a funeral lunch over cold cuts and jello salads.
And yes, I saw the power of Christ’s promise reflected in a hospital room many years ago — reflected in the following post:
And yes, I yearned for it a few years back and I still do as you can read in my reflections following a pivotal election day:
Through it all, this much I know, this much I have known.
When we allow ourselves to step into the darkness, Christ always meets us there.
Even as he met those who first stood at the foot of his cross so long ago.
Even as he met the one who hung beside him on his own cross that Friday afternoon.
Even as he does us all.
- I am on the edge of a much needed vacation so I have chosen to offer links to my reflections from past years. I hope that they are gift to you in some way.
- As I step away for a few days, I am asking myself this question and I offer it to you as well: When have you been met by Christ in the Darkness? When have your eyes burned and found your heart softened and hope renewed? Indeed, what difference did that ‘meeting’ make for you?