Reading: Psalm 80: 4-7 & 17-19
It is dark outside. The street lights and Christmas lights shine brightly in the cool, crisp air. In dark places, even one small light can seem so bright.
The psalmist also writes of darkness, although it is a different kind of darkness. Our Psalm today speaks of “eating the bread of tears” and drinking tears “by the bowlful”. At times this is the darkness we experience. Life has become difficult and we feel like we are alone in the dark. If not us right now, it is true for someone we know. This time of year can be particularly hard for folks. For all those who are in pain and feel like they are in darkness or in a dark place, one small light can seem so bright. God’s love is that light.
Light shines into darkness, casting the dark away. There can be no darkness in the presence of light. Whether it is depression or loss or loneliness, darkness can settle in like an unbearable weight. Often with the darkness comes a loss of hope. A kind word, a simple gesture, a warm invitation, a gentle hug, a short prayer offered, just our presence – all bring light into darkness. All bring God’s love to bear. None of these human efforts, by themselves, cures depression or loss or loneliness, but they bring in God’s love, they begin a step in the right direction.
The psalmist writes, “Restore us, O Lord God Almighty, make your face shine upon us”. When we reach out, when we pray, when we offer our presence, then we are helping God’s light to shine in dark places. God’s love can restore anyone and can heal any brokenness. May we be willing bearers of the light and love this day. May our lives help God’s light shine into the dark places of light. In dark places, one light can seem so bright.