Sometimes I am guilty of using “churchy” words without explaining myself. There are phrases that we throw around without knowing the full extent of their meaning. What we do is set up boundaries for those who use familiar language when describing ministry. It isn’t easy to comprehend anything without first exploring the rich history that defines theologians’ ideas from generations. In our minds, we must first understand before we can fully appreciate the meaning behind a text or thought.
“So,” I ask, “What does it mean to walk in darkness?” For me, when I speak of the symbol of darkness, I understand the word to mean hopelessness, chaos, and constant searching for a way out. It is like searching in a pitch-black tunnel without any light to help me find my way out. I think of the times that I felt lost, unable to make a healthy decision that guides me back to the path of hope and comfort. In this instance, darkness represents the idea of being forced to remain in a place that goes nowhere. We stay trapped and unavailable to save ourselves.
On this Monday of Advent, let us reflect on what we mean when we say darkness. Take a fearless moral inventory, and remember the times in life when light did not appear. How did it feel? Go beyond the surface and recall the fear and isolation. When you complete your journey, stop, and give thanks to our God. Our darkness turned to light, and nothing else ever was the same.