My grandmother (who we lovingly called Mema) used to say, “There is a time for everything—a season for every stage—an ending for every beginning.” It reminds me of these words from Ecclesiastes 3:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
Seasons of the Church Year
In our LCMS tradition, we have seasons. Seasons of the church that represent what the Scriptures emote at that time. A time of waiting like Advent, and a time of expectancy like at Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Christ. A time of light like at Epiphany, and a time of jubilation such as at Eastertide.
Right now, in our country and even in our own lives, it feels as if we have entered a specific season.
A season of mourning.
A season of darkness.
It’s reminiscent of 9/11/2001—an entire city covered in the ashes of The World Trade Center. And in the early morning, darkness covered an entire city as the buildings came down, and the body count went up. And darkness cloaked the world.
In the COVID-19 pandemic, we have now experienced a 9/11 death count for each and every day the pandemic persisted. Mothers buried children. Spouses watched as their significant other slipped into their eternal rest. Lifelong friends waved eternal goodbye. We buried our dead, and darkness cloaked the world.
Light Breaks Forth in Darkness
In a world of such darkness, it can be easy to become discouraged. Beyond the global pandemic, beyond the international attacks, we have daily personal pandemics and attacks. Depression, broken relationships, missed time, livelihood loss, motivation loss, and so on.
In 1 John 1:5-10, God tells a different story. Using our own reason, thought, or strength, it is easy to slip into darkness. But when we put our trust in God most high, His light breaks the darkness! Where we have slipped into sorrow, through His blood we are reborn into marvelous light. This pandemic of darkness, this attack of the enemy—it cannot stand against the Lord!
This Lenten season, we acknowledge the consequences of darkness: death. But as we received the ashes on Ash Wednesday, we were reminded that through the work Christ has done on the cross, Light breaks forth.
So, let there be light.
In this season, this dark place, we walk the road to death with Christ. We remember His sacrifice for our sins. We see his hands pierced for what our hands did. We hear his cries that ought to utter from our own mouths. And as the world goes dark as He suffers for what we did we break forth in light held in those same nail-ridden hands. Covered in His blood as redeemed children of the Light.
So, when this world seems like it has nothing left to give, it is simply because Christ gives a better gift. He curates a better season. He trades mourning for joy.
So, in the evening of Lent, we wait in expectancy for the morning of Easter.
And we follow The Light.
Find yourself in a difficult time, mourning and searching for God's light to break through that deep darkness? Discover that light with Getting Through Grief.