Sunday, April 18, 2010
Darkness, dawn, and dustbunnies
Sunday morning. Dawn. The sun will rise in about twenty minutes. At the horizon stripes of night, light, and purple dawn rest over the water. I am away from home, about to spend a few days with strangers at a business meeting. I won’t be taking communion in person with an assembly of Christians, so I will celebrate in cyberspace.
We spend a little bit of every day in this mixture of darkness and light that comes before dawn. Nights may be restful, may be nightmarish. Daytime may surround us with comforts and blessings but night may let monsters lurk under beds, specters float overhead, intruders press at our doors. For those in war-torn, natural disaster stricken, crime ridden places—those threats are real. For some of us, those monsters, specters, and intruders are wrought by our real and perceived failures, by thoughtless and costly omissions, by the daunting nature of what’s before us.
For those of us living in peaceful, affluent North America, the rising of the sun, the coming of light, often reduces the monsters to dust bunnies, the ghosts to creaky ceiling fans, and the intruders to the ice makers dumping ice. In the light, the perceived and even most egregious real failures and omissions, the daunting nature of our tasks, don’t disappear, but they lack the superpowers they gain in the night.
For the believer, the light of Christ shines out of the darkness. He lets us see life and ourselves as we are—a mixture of success and failure, of purity and murk, of good and evil. He beacons us to follow the best of our nature and graciously forgives us for the failures. When in a community of believers, he surrounds with fellows who are willing to forgive, for they are acutely aware of the amount they have been forgiven. He listens to our anxieties and cares for us. He promises us wisdom, strength, and power for the tasks ahead of us. His provides a palpable presence in our hearts and bodies as we walk and work through our days.
In communion we remember the death of Christ, his resurrection, and we proclaim that we believe he will come again. This celebration brings together the darkest of nights, the most brilliant of mornings, and the most colorful vision of future life. Though it reminds us of the real scope and reach of our failures, the commemoration reminds us to repent, to make restoration, to move forward with courage and boldness, as a people filled with great hope.
The sun is up. The light calls.