The why of the what we do

Outside, the sun is up and traffic steadily builds as I drink my coffee and get ready for a new day. Tonight, at church, we have a tenebrae service, where light is extinguished in the midst of Holy Week, a chance to reflect on light and darkness, sin and overcoming, the sacrifice of the Messiah, and our own attempts at living what scriptures say should be a godly life.

Why darkness?

Darkness and light are interwoven facts of life for those who have seen trauma. We get it. We have seen darkness. We have rejoiced at the light. Relief comes when we understand that darkness, however unwelcome it may be, only makes the light, however tiny it may be, shine brighter.

Notre Dame was on fire this week. The world watched in horror as flames destroyed parts of history that although they can be rebuilt, will now look different, most likely.

The cross still stood.


And what Parisians did was likewise inspiring. They sang. The flames roared. They prayed. Together. In spite of.

Why would one sing when darkness seems to prevail? Why find melody midst the tears of despair?

The true test of the light within is when darkness seems to overcome that light.

“We will rebuild,” it was said.

And so we shall.

Each of us has a story. I find most people do not have perfect lives, even if it appears that way. The rich and poor suffer alike. The well educated and those who have not had formal education are the same. Everyone struggles.

May this week bring us all joy, as we press on to kindle that light within us.

selective focus photography of lighted candles on table
Photo by Craig Adderley on

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