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Monday, August 21, 2017 – “Shine On Us, O Lord!”

“O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!” – Psalm 4:6

As the solar eclipse makes its rare “path of totality” from coast to coast across the United States, we pause to reflect on the wonder of the natural order, the precise movement of the elements in the universe, and the amazement that an object as relatively small as our moon could totally block the sun’s light from reaching Earth.  Indeed, this world is a wondrously made!

I’m intrigued by the eclipse and the idea that darkness falls on the earth – not because the sun refuses to shine, but rather because its light is blocked by a comparatively small object, just close enough to throw us into temporary darkness.  In all of this, I can’t help relating this eclipse and its causes to recent troubling and deadly events.

Our news has been filled with horrid images of white supremacists, chanting angry, ugly, offensive refrains both on the grounds of my Alma Mater, the University of Virginia, and in downtown Charlottesville, as they waved Nazi and Confederate flags and promulgated hatred until it all escalated into a violent terrorist act which inflicted physical harm and death.

The expressions of hate and intolerance throw darkness onto our land, not because the light of truth, justice, and liberty refuses to shine, but because that light is eclipsed at least in certain places at specific times by these angry, misled folk.  No wonder they carry torches; they have to light their way through the darkness cast by their ideology.  There is no place for such beliefs in American discourse, let alone in God’s mighty movement of truth and grace.

The word of hope is that God’s light continues to shine, and these eclipses of hatred are as short-lived as they are troubling.  Nevertheless, the scripture compels us to denounce the darkness and to open our lives to the light.  “O that we might see some good!” The psalmist cries out and then prays, “Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”

We do pray that we might see some good come out of the hatred, violence, and bloodshed not only of these last days but throughout human history, and we daily ask for the light of God’s face to shine upon us to lead us into the paths of justice and peace.

“O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!” Amen!

A Bible-study devotional blog by Gorman Houston