So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. – 2 Peter 1:19-21 (NRSV)
A few weeks ago in Oakland, Auburn Seminary gathered some of us for an experience they called The Mountaintop. It was stunning. Spiritual leaders, artists of many forms, activists and others stepped into the clearing of community to prepare for the climb.
Alas, I was tired. Too tired to climb that week. Standing at the base of the mountain was all I could handle right then. But still, our leaders invited me to gaze, with them, at the mountaintop.
There I met people thrust into the world of prophecy, which is not an easy world to inhabit, you know. They shared little bits of their truth and beauty and witness.
One, a woman named Junauda Petrus, had written a book with a title that grabbed and changed me: The Stars and the Blackness Between Them. In this Mountaintop week, I was experiencing so much Blackness.
And it was beautiful.
The Blackness of the night sky, of the tough news and the stars that ascended, bid me to look up. I wanted the blackness, I needed to see what could come when I didn’t flick to the light too soon. I wanted to turn off the lamp for a moment.
And that Blackness was beautiful.
We do not blame the night sky for being night. We rest—or we try to rest—in it.
There is a lamp. It has to do with your faith. There are stars, too. But they’re not the only point.
Day will dawn, O God. Thank you for reminding me that the dawning of the day is not my job.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.