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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | 1 John 1:1–10

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (NRSV)

As a child, bedtime held some degree of concern for me because I was afraid of the dark. I didn’t really think there were closet monsters but I often had to close my closet doors before I turned out the light. I thought the darkness held unknowns and I did not feel prepared to deal with whatever they might be.

As an adult, I still have uneasy moments in a completely dark room but I’ve come to understand that worrying about what might happen isn’t useful. In my late twenties, following a breakup, a friend suggested I stay in her small beach house on a Caribbean island and “clear my head.” I had never flown anywhere by myself let alone change planes. I had to trust that I would be picked up and driven to my friend’s cottage by a gnarled, island character in a battered, red pick-up truck. He did not speak English but he knew who I was and where I was going. I learned I could find the tiny island grocery store and that I would be safe for five days in a remote setting by myself.

This island journey changed my life and I learned how much I could rely on God for my safekeeping. The first night I was on the island I had to walk alone through the dark with only a flashlight to find a nearby hotel’s restaurant. At the time, I did not know what to call the presence I felt as I walked, but it was reassuring. I felt comforted that night and every night thereafter. I knew God was with me in the darkness.

Loving Creator, let me be a witness to the Light, knowing that the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. Amen.

Written by Elise Magers, Assistant Director,
Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being

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