A bright light on a dark night.
Our month of theme nights came to an end tonight with the theme of Blackout. Students were encouraged to wear black clothes from head to toe and many did. This entire month has been fun to use the things we are wearing, or in some cases aren't wearing, to pull out biblical truths.
Tonight's discussion started with a sort of word association. What comes to mind when you think of blackout? Some of the answers we heard were; black holes, power outages, substance abuse, death. One student, while getting in the van, made a comment saying "it looks like we're going to a funeral!"
We talked a bit about how there are times in our life that are dark. Times where it feels like, because of choices we have made, or haven't made, or that others have made, we feel lost.
We feel alone.
In the dark.
In these moments it is hard to remember that God is there,though these are some of the moments we need to be reminded most of God's presence. Our hope tonight was to be reminded that God is never far from us.
Even in the creation story of Genesis we see a picture of God who is present in the darkness.
"The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters." Genesis 1:2
The entire earth was dark, formless, unrecognizable, but God was there.
The Spirit of God was hovering. the breath of God was there.
God was not just present in this darkness. God was active in it.
"Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light" Genesis 1:3
Present and active even in the darkness of space, God was there and was doing something about it. Speaking light into dark places and separating the dark from the light.
We were reminded tonight, that the God who was present and active in the darkness at the beginning is present and active in our darkness now.
That even in the darkest times of our lives, God is present and active. And God's actions bring good things. If we are going to be real about following Jesus, we need to first, and continuously, be open to the light of Christ exposing the areas of darkness in each of us. Though this is not an easy thing, the end result is good.
We were reminded of Psalm 51, with it's phrases starting with words like "cleanse me", "wash me", "purify me", and we trust that God will do those things.
When we are able to see the light of hope in the darkest times of our lives, we are called to share that light with others.
As we gather each week, I pray that our time together fans the flame of hope in each person present, so that as we leave this place in the dark of night, we go with the light and hope of God in each of us.