Thoughts on darkness and light

The crowd hushed. The orchestra quieted their instruments. The auditorium darkened. The pause seemed almost endless as the audience waited for the performance to begin. This was it! They had purchased their tickets months ago. They had cleared their schedules and invited their friends. The dim room was the clue that their waiting was coming to an end. 
Suddenly, a single spotlight pierced the blackness on the stage, and all eyes focused on that single bright circle as their excitement grew. The darkness, while unsettling and blinding, was used as a target for their attention. All other distractions were set to the side as the crowd waited for someone to appear in the light. 

This year has been dark. The waiting and isolation has felt endless for many of us. 
We have walked through the last months collectively yearning for an end to the darkness. Just when it seems like things will return to normal, a new twist in the plot appears. Nothing seems ordinary. Plans are now held loosely. After all, there is no need to get hopes raised when everything will be cancelled anyway. As a culture, we have seen upheaval and chaos. We have experienced sadness and loss. We are sitting in a darkened auditorium waiting for a performance that we didn’t buy tickets for. 

If we lift our eyes to the stage, maybe we will see something that we missed, however. There is a spotlight breaking in to the darkness. The performance has begun. In fact the Master of Ceremonies has been coordinating it all along. He uses the darkness to highlight his work. He recognizes that the dimness can be disconcerting and troubling to us, but uses it to strip away the lesser distractions that so easily capture our attention. 

As we focus on the brightness, we notice that it isn’t simply a glimmer of hope, a respite from worry, or a spark of happiness that we see. The light shining onto the dark stage of our world is actually the same Light that broke into the blackness of sin two thousand years ago. That Light is our only hope, our only confidence in worry, and our only true joy. The darkness of this year and of the years that are sure to come force us to realize and cling to the truth that “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)