This holy week there has been darkness all around. Horrible deaths caused by drivers who are addicted to alcohol and driving under its influence. Mentally tormented individuals wielding guns. Individuals walking into freeway traffic. A father shooting his adult, drug-addicted children while they sleep.
“And darkness covered the face of the earth, for the sun failed.” There is a tension during Holy Week, as we walk with Jesus through the cross experience, a heaviness that is palpable, even as we make preparations for the resurrection celebration. I want to run ahead to the light, rather than meeting Jesus in the darkness, in my darkness.
“Darkness is as light to you,” the psalmist proclaims. In the midst of the darkness surrounding Jesus’ death, the curtain separating the common person from the presence of God was torn apart. Because of Christ’s walk into death, we are invited into the presence of God, in spite of the darkness around us, and the darkness within us – our sin, our brokenness, our failings. He meets us in the darkness and brings us to the light. In the darkness, we come to Him – forgiven, yet bruised, looking for the light of hope. We strain for daylight, but mostly, we strain for God. And most often, we find him in the darkness.
“Let him be easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness in us.” (Gerald H. Hopkins). In this poem, easter is used as a nautical term, describing the guiding of the ship toward the east, or the light. Jesus is the One that guides us out of darkness into light. For each of us, may this be a week where we find Jesus in the darkness we know so well, and follow his gentle lead into the light.