Sitting in the Dark


Joel 2:12-19; Rev. 19:11-21; Luke 15:1-10

The sun rises and many of us rise from our sleep-deprived post-election night slumber. As I do, I struggle for words.  I am profoundly aware of the darkness all around me, and I don’t just mean the heavy hearts many have from an exhausting and disappointing election.  But I mean the actual darkness, and the reality of our Daylight Savings Time “fall back”.  We sat in the dark all evening, and the shortened days as winter draws near means surprising daylight and an odd sleeping schedule for many.

It is hard to move past our first reading.  My eyes got stuck on Joel’s words: “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, with mourning.”  It feels like it is too early and too dark to forge ahead.  Yes there are a lot of broken hearts.  I see that.  I have heard from many of you already.  Cries to God abound this morning.

To everyone, whether you are rejoicing or in mourning, let this day be a day of unity – a unity for the Church.  May we remember Joel’s words to return to God, and put our trust in him.  The reality is that none of these temporal leaders have windows into our souls.  We know who is still the Lord of the Cosmos.  Policies may come and go, but our God is God forever and stands over this little mess we make for ourselves daily.

The Heidelberg Catechism is one of my favorites.  It begins: What is your only comfort in life and in death?  That I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful savior Jesus Christ.

As global markets tumble, as our Muslim brothers and sisters hide in fear (as my Facebook feed would indicate), and as the news of last night’s election sinks in and many of our international partners talk of us being the laughing stock of the world, these words from the prophet Joel seem most appropriate.

Let us not turn to our fear.  We cannot give in to the powers and principalities that would fling us apart as the church.  Let us turn once again to God, who holds us in the palm of his hand and will not disappoint us.

The Lord also promises at the end of this passage: “I will no more make you a mockery among the nations.”  These days of shame will pass.  Trust will be restored.  It may be too dark to tell right now from many of our perspective, but trust this – the Son will rise and God’s truth will reign.  We know this to be true, amidst the tears and heartbreak of an exhausting election cycle.

So pause with me and turn to God with all our hearts, “with fasting, with weeping, with mourning.”  And then glimpse with me the breaking light, that God reigns supreme and in his providential care will not disappoint us.





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