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Believing in the Dark

Feb 25, 2018 - Rev. Allie Hayes Shulman

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As we continue on our Lenten journey into the dark, we meet Abram this week. We may feel uncomfortable embracing the darkness of introspection and vulnerability, but it can be calming to know that Abram is here with us in his own darkness – despite his stature as the bedrock of multiple religions.

Abram is an old man in our lesson from Genesis today, a man weary and waiting for God’s promises. In his exhaustion and hopelessness, God shows up to Abram in a vision and reminds him of those promises. In spite of Abram’s own plans and protests against God, these promises were as steady and miraculous as the stars in the sky.

There are two curious points about this vision of God. First, God didn’t bring Abram out of the darkness – God was present with him in the darkness and showed the stars as a symbol of God’s faithfulness that can only be seen in the dark. Second, the stars are ordinary and present every single night, but something changed as Abram learned to believe in the dark.

So, how do you and I believe in the dark, even when we cannot see what is coming next? We must come to see, like Abram, that God is present with us in the dark and that God continues to work in our lives, even through the darkest of moments.

When the dark times of life challenge what we believe and even threaten our own identity, we are invited to encounter the mysterious, promise-making God of Abram. And we can accept our identity as children of God who carry those divine promises to the world around us.

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