SunriseEvery morning, somewhere right around 6:00am, I crawl out of bed at the sound of the alarm, put on my coat and my boots, along with a stocking cap and I take the dog for a walk.  Right around Christmas, I was acutely aware of how dark it was.  The moon and the stars would shine brightly.  The sun wouldn’t appear for at least 60 more minutes.

In the last week or two, I’ve begun to see a change.  Now, when I look into the sky around halfway through our walk, in the east I see the blue tint of changing light.  Incrementally, every day, there is a slow brightening earlier and earlier.

And I’m confident that if I wait long enough, perhaps four to five months, the sun will be bright in the sky before I even climb out of bed.

The world works in cycles.  There is a rhythm to our days, our weeks and our years.  And we are creatures of these rhythms.  We both wake up and fall asleep at certain times; we eat at the same times; walk the dog at the same time; go to school or work at the same time.  God created our lives to be cyclical.

Old Testament wisdom from the book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”

I can tolerate this season of cold and dark because I know that it will be followed with a warming, and that spring and summer are coming.  This cycle becomes a metaphor for my life and faith as well, because there are periods of time when life can feel difficult or dark.  For all of us, life presents challenges, grief, broken relationships or stress.  There are times when it feels like we are living in this kind of darkness.

But Ecclesiastes reminds us that these times are a season.

And life is cyclical.  And every season is followed by another.  Seasons of darkness are followed by seasons of light.  Challenge, pain and loss are often followed by times of joy and celebration.  Or, to quote Baptist pastor and sociologist, Tony Campolo, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.”

Our faith brings us hope and reminds us that the seasons turn, and that while we may feel like life is dark, the light will come.

That light, the light of Christ, comes to all.  To you.  To me.

As the days lengthen and the light becomes more prevalent, be reminded of the promises of God.  Be reminded of God’s great love.  And be reminded that in the midst of the darkness, there will be a brightening, and that you are never alone.

Pastor Todd

Published in the Owatonna People’s Press – January 24, 2015

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