St John the evangelist

wotton, surrey

in the heart

of the surrey hills

Lest We Forget

Martha's Reflection November 8th

I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who called you by your name.

                        Isaiah 45:3


Now that the clocks have gone back and nights are long, the inclination is to draw the curtains, turn on the light and shut out the darkness.  Darkness is something most of us have learned to fear, or at least to avoid.  Christians tend to equate darkness with sin, ignorance or death.  But look again - God is not only present in daylight, but much of his work takes place in darkness.


At creation, God did not abolish darkness, he simply added light, giving the two equal importance.  A look through scripture shows that many important events happened at night.  When Abraham doubted God’s promise of children, God told him to count the stars in the night sky saying, “So shall your descendants be” (Gen. 15:5).  When Jacob, fleeing from his brother’s anger lay down to sleep, God visited him at night in a dream, promising to be with him.  The exodus from Egypt happened in darkness;  manna fell from heaven at night; and that is just the beginning.   


Matthew and Luke tell us that Christ was born at night.  Some of Jesus’ most intimate moments with his Father involved spending the night outside on a mountain in prayer.   And the most important event in the Christian calendar, the resurrection happened “while it was still dark” (John 20:1). 


Try going out some clear evening, looking up at the stars and wondering what God is doing out there.   Or if you ever wake up in the middle of the night, or just before dawn, try lying in the dark, listening for the Spirit.  You may discover states of consciousness you have never experienced before.  As the psalmist puts it, Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge (19:2).


We thank you Lord for the darkness of the night, bringing times of quiet and rest, the stillness of sleep and the hope of healing and peace.  Amen