It is no wonder that so many of us are struggling with some form of re-entry anxiety. I know that I’m eager to return to a different normal than I’ve experienced during the pandemic. But at the same time, I’m hesitant, given the issues we’re facing, including racism, climate change, and attacks on our democracy.

This August, our focus is on finding a form of “lunar spirituality” that recognizes that life never stays the same from one day to the next. Instead, life waxes and wanes like the phases of the moon. Knowing this, we can learn and exercise spirituality recognizing how God works in both darkness and daylight.

Throughout our series, our plan is to reference Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, covering the material from the book in three episodes on August 1, 8, and 29. Our guest speaker for August 15 and 22 will be David Leineke from Hope United Methodist Church. 1

We explore what God has to teach us during our series while we are in the dark places in our lives. While sunny skies and roses are to be enjoyed as they come, God’s grace finds us whoever life takes us. Whether we’re sitting in total darkness or bathed in bright lights, God is with us.

Notice how my choices of words and expressions favor light over dark. Unfortunately, this bias causes us to miss the nuances of darkness and thus miss the lessons waiting for us in the dark. After all, some of the breakthrough revelations found in scripture happened in the darkness of night.

The resurrection of Jesus took place in total darkness behind a stone and inside of a cave. No witnesses except the Trinity itself. Recognition of this holy, world-altering miracle became visible as the sun rose to illuminate a new normal. Even then, those first witnesses couldn’t see Jesus until they heard His voice.

Night vision: Coming August 1Life is an adventure to be savored, and we can find courage in darkness. And we can experience the world in new ways. God’s presence surrounds us and guides us through both the seen and unseen.

It may be that we grow the most in the dark. There is a rhythm to life that is much more jazz and improv than a pre-measured recipe.

I would be remiss if I did not emphasize that vaccinations are essential for everyone. Understandably a few have medical conditions where vaccination could be unadvisable. But the rest of us can protect our more vulnerable community members by ensuring that we cannot spread the virus.

The latest variants of COVID are more contagious. As a result, there is a resurgence of new infections among the unvaccinated. It’s time to come out of whatever fears or biases keep you from being a part of the solution. Get vaccinated!

I pray that you will join us each Sunday morning at 10:30 am. We share our weekly explodes live on our YouTube channel. We go live at 10:30 am. You can find these links along with more information about us, or join our live broadcast on our website at FlintAsbury.org.

Pastor Tommy

1 Barbara BrownTaylor. Learning to Walk in the Dark: Because Sometimes God Shows Up at Night. Harper One, 2015.