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Even the darkness will not be dark to You

Even the darkness will not be dark to you – psalm 139,12

I remember the first time I visited Carlsbad Caverns on a family vacation when I was a child. I remember going through a cave where we were going to experience absolute darkness, not a single photon to illuminate an uneven walkway or possible enemies lying in wait. We entered the sense altering cave. I clenched my dad’s jacket tighter. It was the only thing that I could be sure of in the darkness. Even though I was surrounded by people, holding on to my dad, I couldn’t help but feel worried. The darkness even made me feel — alone.

In Psalm 139, the writer is asking where can we go to get away from God. Where could we go that God’s presence wouldn’t be? If we went to heaven, God was there, if we went to the grave, God was there, if we fled across the sea to the corners of the earth, God’s hand would be there to hold us. Then the writer asks about the darkness. Even if the darkness is thrusted upon us, and we feel the dread and loneliness of the unknown, or even if we choose to hide in the darkness, hoping no one sees our pain or weakness, even then, God will be there. Even the darkness will not be dark to you – means that there is nowhere that God is unwilling to go for us. Even in the darkness, God sees the path out of the cave. Even there God sees us as we truly are, and God chooses to be with us. Know, today, that even when darkness closes in, God is with you, guiding you, loving you, and not afraid to go into the darkness for you.

Peace,

Ric Shewell

Below is a great song by Mike Crawford and His Secret Siblings. The song is Search Me, based on Psalm 139. Check it out and click the graphic to visit their site and listen to more music. Even the Darkness

Lent Spiritual Practices What I'm Reading

Hauerwas: Cross-Shattered Christ

For this season of Lent, I’m adding Stanley HauerwasCross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words to my devotions. It’s available in digital formats, which is nice. For those of you that know Hauerwas, you don’t know this Hauerwas. For these meditations he’s swapped out his usual wit and grittiness for thoughtfulness, but he is still able to strikingly challenge our thinking about the Trinity and atonement. While Hauerwas is unapologetically a theologian, he confesses rightly that “theology is a servant discipline in the church.” In these meditations, he serves the church well. Here’s a little excerpt:

Is it any wonder we find Good Friday so shattering? On this day and with these words, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing,” all our presumptions about God and the salvation wrought by God are rendered presumptuous. Moreover, that is how we discover that what happens on the cross really is about us, but the “what” that is about us challenges our presumptions about what kind of salvation we need. Through the cross of Christ we are drawn into the mystery of the Trinity. This is God’s work on our behalf. We are made members of a kingdom governed by a politics of forgiveness and redemption. The world is offered an alternative unimaginable by our sin-determined fantasies.

Peace to your soul!†

-Ric