Epiphany 3A, Psalms

My God, You Make My Darkness Bright

"You O Lord are my lamp."

Bells.

"My God you make my darkness bright."

Bells.

It's the wrong psalm (not 27, but 18), but it's the theme that comes into my mind when I read that psalm about light.

I was singing in the choir at Large Church, this must be fifteen years ago, or a little less, and we sang a plainsong setting of the psalm, with a baritone soloist and the whole choir coming in on the refrain based on those two lines. An odd assortment of handbells, carefully arranged, were sounded after each of those lines. They formed a chord neither major or minor, a sweet cacophony, a temporal fugue, hanging in the air as the last word of each line faded away.

As I walk through a tense and transitional period in my professional life, I know something of that feeling, of being in the dark and having only God as a source of light for some questions, and knowing that light does not always equal an answer.

One thing I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

That is what I want. I imagined myself in settled ministry for the rest of my working life, perhaps making a move or two, but plunging deep roots into a community of faith. Now it seems that may not happen, and I find myself wondering why? Am I discerning a particular gift for ministry, or am I facing the reality of a geographically tied woman who entered ministry at mid-life and will never have the "big" job?

These questions are personal, but perhaps they speak to anyone who is trying to live faithfully and having it turn out very differently than imagined.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
"Come," my heart says, "seek his face!" Your face, Lord, do I seek.
(Psalm 37:7-8)

Make my darkness bright, I pray.

I would love to know your thoughts.

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