WS Update: Walking in the Dark

November 7, 2022

Yesterday (listen to the sermon here) we reflected on the story of Jacob and his wrestling match with God (Genesis 32). The story is a paradigm of how spiritual transformation often takes place, starting in the dark and leading to the light. Jacob, whose name means ‘wrestle, grasper’ had lived a life that reflected his name. He had left a trail of broken relationships in his wake, the most egregious and potentially dangerous one was his relationship with his brother Esau who he had swindled out of his inheritance and who is on his way to meet Jacob with 400 men. So as Jacob waits in the dark the narrator leads you to reflect on the question: Does his name define the sum total of who he is? Is Jacob his mistakes and character flaws? And in that moment of despair, when he was most alone with his fears and insecurities he found out he had never been alone. This is true of many of us, in our darkest moments we find God’s presence, reflected in these words by Barbara Brown Taylor in her book Learning to Walk in the Dark:

Even when you cannot see where you are going and no one answers when you call, this is not sufficient proof that you are alone. There is a divine presence that transcends all your ideas about it, along with all your language for calling it to your aid, which is not above using darkness as the wrecking ball that brings all your false gods down—but whether you decide to trust the witness of those who have gone before you, or you decide to do whatever it takes to become a witness yourself, here is the testimony of faith: darkness is not dark to God; the night is as bright as the day.

The evidence of this is that Jesus died alone in the dark so that we might never be separated from his love or his community. May this bring comfort to you as you begin another week.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning

Psalm 30:5

Have lunch with your neighbors

Do you live on 79th St (West or East) and south, or Brooklyn, Staten Island and Long Island? Come meet your church neighbors and the elders and members of our Diaconate designated to care for members in these areas. We’ll also share with you some stories of God working locally through groups and individuals in this region. 

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