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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Light in the Darkness

Tonight was very special.

I read some reflections from Eternal Echoes where Sally considers hope in the midst of struggle and the beauty of grace and sanctification when we are feeling in a dark place. I also read some of the birth narrative from Luke and I discussed the mixture of doubt and hope contained in the Christmas story.

Doubt must have arisen as shepherds and magi made their way to a stable in a provincial backwater to look for the Savior of the world. Amidst the doubt and tiredness of the journey was a growing sense of hope.

There were 4 of us upstairs in a pub on a Tuesday night and, as we discussed our doubts and reflected on what hope in God meant for each of us I felt that the church had turned a corner and rather than being my "thing" God had been allowed to come into our midst much like He came into our midst through the baby Jesus as the incarnated God.

After talking for a while I took out some candles and invited people to light a candle to symbolize our light in the darkness. People could pray aloud, meditate, reflect or just relax in the sense of hope amidst the busyness of this season.

As we sat with the flames flickering on the table in the middle of the group I closed my eyes and felt a profound sense of God's presence. I haven't been to church in 9 months except for one unsatisfactory appearance a few weeks ago and tonight I felt a sense of deep joy and gratitude as God came amongst us through His Spirit upstairs in a pub on a Tuesday night in December.

Jesus is truly our light in the darkness.


Sally said...

praise God indeed :-)

Peter P said...


A lot of people have a certain view of what 'church' is and it's certainly not 4 people sitting upstairs in a pub on a Tuesday night.

Thankfully though, God doesn't share a lot of people's idea of what His Church is and He is more than willing to show up any time any place anywhere if people simply turn their eyes to Him.

Thank you for sharing with us one of the wonderful times that God has shown up and for reminding us that God is not limited to a certain building and only on Sunday mornings!

Rick D. said...

4 folks sitting above a pub, 2 or 3 in an AA meeting of the really informal variety - whenever two or more of you are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst is how the Word reads...I don't need a chalice in a palace when a mug of brew (that would be coffee for me!) and a friend will do :)

Tim said...

The most profound teaching of Christ's ministry occurred in an upstairs room, where He and the remaining 11 disciples talked together in the hours leading up to Gethsemane and Judas's betrayal.

The most amazing event in church history happened in an upstairs room where 120 believers gathered for an informal prayer meeting.

We are the Church and church happens wherever we are. God's presence isn't dependent on numbers or environment. If He's the reason why we're assembled, He'll show up. "Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them," Jesus said. (Matt 18.20)

Your post proves this in a profoundly beautiful way.