From Pastor Pat: What purpose our contemplation?
(April 3, 2015) In a dark time, the eye begins to see. ---Theodore Roethke
One might wonder why these few days before the glory of Easter Morning are a descent into darkness. One might wonder what purpose our contemplation on the shadows really serves. But then again, Reverend Barbara Brown Taylor reminds us about the ways Jesus began and ended and began again his life with us. She notes that beginning life or making meaning of life in the darkness was true for a number of faith leaders. The Buddha regularly meditated in a cave. Muhammad sought out a small mountain cave where he meditated for days and was visited by the angel Gabriel. And if we think about it, Jesus entered our human life in the cave-like darkness of a stable, and lay for three days in the cave of a garden tomb. It was in this silent and sacred space that he burst the bonds of death and was born to us anew, bringing us the dazzlingly bright gift of eternal life.
The essential ingredient, however, is sitting first in the dark times. From our slow extinguishing of the candles at our Maundy Thursday service, through the empty, stripped silence of the Good Friday sanctuary, our eyes begin to adjust and “see” the gift that Jesus is, and how hollow the world is without him. Whatever darkness has crept into our personal lives, we are invited to unburden ourselves, to leave it behind in the tomb. On Easter morning every darkness will be shattered by the conquering burst of Christ’s all-encompassing Light.
So in this most contemplative of weeks, I encourage you to be a companion to the dark time so, on that most glorious of mornings, the contrasting brilliance of the Easter lilies may be magnified before your eyes. Let us follow Christ through the dark days, toward the first Halleluiah of Easter. – Pastor Pat