Darkness and Light
“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed, and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ Having said this, he breathed his last.”
Luke 23:44-46

“It is said that the darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.”[i] This proverb, familiar to many, is not taken from Scripture but reflects our Christian theology. The proverb first appeared in a 17th-century writing by Thomas Fuller, an English scholar and preacher who was known for originating many proverbs.
The darkest hour of the night is not just before dawn. However, the moment the sun begins to rise marks the end of the night and the period since daylight appeared. This proverb is often quoted when someone is going through a particularly rough time to encourage them to not lose hope. We, as Christians, know that even in our darkest hour, when life is at its worst, there is still hope.
Think of the disciples after Christ’s crucifixion. As the darkness enveloped the world at midday when Jesus breathed His last breath, no one could imagine that the light of Christ would overcome the darkness. The disciples hid together in a room, grief-stricken over the death of their Lord. They were frightened at the thought of their life without Him. And then they learned of the resurrection and met the resurrected Jesus. The light of their new understanding banished the darkness of their doubts and fears.
When you find yourself in a dark place or time, remember that Jesus is light and light will always overcome the darkness.
Collect for Aid Against Perils
Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
“The Book of Common Prayer,” page 123
The Rev. Lisa R. Neilson
Vicar for Pastoral Care
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