Skip to comments.Next in the Anglican Bloggers' Collaborative Series from L&B: St. John's Tulare, California
Posted on 03/23/2006 5:42:56 PM PST by sionnsar
Today from the Lent and Beyond Anglican Bloggers' collaborative Lenten series, we have Face the Darkness, Bear the Light by the Rev. Rob Eaton of St. John's Tulare, California. Please check it out!
This is the twenty-sixth in a series of Lenten devotionals by a group of Anglican bloggers and friends. Todays entry is by the Rev. Rob Eaton rector of St. Johns Tulare, CA, a regular commenter on Titusonenine and a good friend of Lent & Beyond. You can read other entries in the series here.
Face the darkness, bear the Light
The Rev Robert G Eaton
March 23, 2006
Thursday in the Third Week of Lent.
Morning: Psalms 42,43 Evening: Psalms 85,86
Also, the feast day of Blessed Nikon and his 190 disciples in martyrdom
And, the feast of Gregory the Illuminator, Apostle to Armenia
Today we celebrate, besides another day of living, and another reminder of the normal state of our humanity in the examinations of Lent, the life of Gregory the Illuminator. You can read James Kiefers brief summary of his noted 4th century mission to Armenia missionstclare.com, among other places on the internet. What I want to bring to your reflection today is the similarity of the mission of Gregory and the message from God (in visions of the night) to Israel (Jacob) about going down to Egypt.
2 God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here I am. 3 Then he said, I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. 4 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again (from the Genesis reading)
Both had to face fears. For that matter, so did Moses when HE was being led to go back to Egypt. Dont you hear the song? Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt land; tell ol Pharoah to let my people go.
So, what happened? God says to Jacob, Go on down to Egypt. Dont worry, you are going to create a legacy. Ill be there, and then Ill bring you out. Then he has to send Moses to bring them out of slavery after 4 hundred years or so? What was it that God was saying to Jacob? Did God lie? Did God fail? Why send Jacob/Israel in the first place?
Do you ever feel like youve been led to the slaughter? Are you then resistant to Gods leading? Such as being invited into the observance of a holy Lent?
What do we see, however, in the results of each - Jacob, Moses, Gregory - but fruit, fruit, fruit. Indeed, a great nation grows in Egypt, perhaps the only place where it could have happened, and then so much that Pharoahs feared. Indeed, a great nation released, and brought to its promised land; a nation large enough to militarily and economically possess the land as their own. Indeed, as one of my Armenian parishioners (whose mother was herself a Christian martyr at the hands of Turk cleansing) is fond of saying, the first true Christian nation was founded through perseverence in witnessing in an otherwise adverse situation.
We must see that God allows and often directs us into a place of perceived darkness, such as the dark places of our own souls, inorder to bring forth fruit in our lives. This is the purpose of self-examination in the context of Lent. I must see the beauty of obediently being led into the disobediences of my life, to face them, and overcome them, in order to bear the fruit of a strengthened life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
It may be that God directs us right into the belly of the beast, so that we can come to a fearful repentance, and then transported exactly to where we need to be to continue on the original journey given to us by God, for His purposes.
Allow this days cloud of witnesses give you strength and resolve to be obedient, to be humble, to have hope, to stay the course, to enter into what looks like darkness believing to be led into what you know is the Light, to feel like this is Friday, but know that Sundays comin .
Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints, and who raised up your servant Gregory the Illuminator to be a light in the world, and to preach the Gospel to the people of Armenia: Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise, who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
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