United Church of Christ

Living Psalm 27: 1; 4-9 - Epiphany 3

Living Psalms Book
Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.

Living Psalm 27: 1; 4-9
Third Sunday of Epiphany

The trouble with the light
first of all
is how much we miss it when it’s gone.
At once, we are young again
the shadows terrify, 
and noises we don’t recognize send fear
to strangle our brave words.
We cower from the darkness,
we pray for the light, and when it comes
we forget at once all but the briefest tremor
of how vulnerable the dark made us.

The trouble with the light
on the second hand
is how it exposes the truths
we’ve been faithfully sweeping
into dusty dark corners.
Those golden rays -
remember -
the ones we prayed for when
the dark was all around us?
Now it has arrived and we can see 
just how much work there is to be done, 
just how much work
we’ve been too afraid to do.
The trouble with the dark
is that it protects 
shelters
frees
those who are vulnerable in the light
and isn’t that complicated -
almost impossible to accept -
for those of us who cry out for the light?
The power of the dark is that God is there
when we are fleeing the truth and the enemy
even when the enemy is the truth.
The necessity of the dark is that it is there we meet God,
where we most need God, where God finds space to speak
and us to listen.

The beauty of the dark is its power to amplify the voices
of those brought low, of those despised and excluded,
of those who are invisible and powerless in the light.

Come, my heart says, seek God’s face.
It is such a small thing we ask, isn’t it?
To banish the darkness, to live in God’s grace,
to exist only in the light. 
But at what cost? 
Turn, dear hearts. Turn
and see that the path before you, the path of God
and to God is not the gilded one you wish for
because you are no longer a child.

You are a child of God, and you can learn to love
better the darkness so you may bring the light.

Living Psalm 15: 1; 4-9 for Epiphany 3 was written by Maria Mankin.

Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community.  Maren Tirabassi, editor

Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80 by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA. Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.

© Copyright 2020 Faith INFO Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved.  

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