Hope in a world of change
Pastor Gale Reitan, Lyndale Lutheran Church, Maple Plain
The passage from light into darkness is marked by the changing of the seasons in Minnesota.
By late October, the days are noticeably shorter. By Dec. 21, winter solstice, its hard to imagine that we will ever get through the darkness.
That long, dark night of winter is the long, dark night of worrying about a sick loved one, grieving the death of a friend, or a dream. It is like walking in addiction or depression. Will the light of day ever reach us?
In my visits in late December, I asked the Ketcher sisters, Malinda and Leona, if they ever thought that they would reach the year 2007. One of them replied, “I haven’t reached it yet!”
When the road is long and weary and your bones are aching with despair and fear fills your mouth, God’s creation is continually on the move, and that is hope. The epiphany of light begins to stir awake hope within us, that days with more light are coming.
We can give thanks that God’s creation is always changing. Time marches on. Everything in creation changes. For the ever-changing nature of creation we can give thanks because otherwise, we would be eternally lost in the long dark nights of winter.
Hope is the assurance that God’s creation heals and moves forward. After the all-consuming devastation of a forest fire, when all of life is charred and smoking, the rains cleanse, just as our tears cleanse us, and God’s hope begins anew.
Because we are part of God’s creation, God reclaims and heals us, carrying us from the long, dark night of winter to the light of Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit.