– Pastor’s Corner –
By The Rev. Andy Schottelkorb Our Savior’s Lutheran • Cornell Greetings to you all, this fall in Cornell.
Daylight Savings time is upon us once again. This seasonal time adjustment, is a valiant attempt to protect us from the effects of the increasing cold and darkness of fall.
These effects are not simply physical. The cold and the darkness can sap our health in all sorts of ways, including the all-encompassing, spiritual way.
“Falling back” one hour in the fall, does help us a little in this regard, but if you’re like me, much more help is needed.
While you may have plenty of leftover Halloween candy to turn to, the comfort it brings is only temporary. I have discovered (again) this fall, indulging in this way has very definite health consequences, which are hard to counteract.
The Bible is a much more wholesome resource for finding help in times of struggle. Indeed, the Bible is no stranger to darkness and distress. Consider a few verses from Psalm 18, which was written from David’s perspective in his struggles with many enemies, including the first King of Israel, King Saul: “He (God) bowed the heavens, and came down; thick darkness was under His feet. He made darkness His covering around him, His canopy thick clouds dark with water. ( NRSV) In other words, God bent heaven down to earth and covered his feet with non-reflective, dark shoes, and put on the same kind of dark clothes and a dark gray hat. From this divine stealth-mode state, however, the glow around God’s presence broke out in flashes of lightning, hailstones and coals of fire.
Overall, it seems like David viewed God as definitely present, even in the darkness. Additionally, it seems that God can’t help but draw our attention in certain ways that contrast mightily with an otherwise dark background. Lightning flashes, hailstones fall and coals of fire (stars, maybe?) make things interesting for us.
Going beyond what is simply interesting, David’s faith interprets all this in a very personal, very confessional, very warm and enlightening way: “It is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.”
David is personally confessing there is darkness in him. If we’re honest, we’re right there with him on that. But David is also confessing that God is his lamplight. Indeed, God lights up David’s own darkness.
As we face the cold and the darkness within us, and that of another northwestern Wisconsin fall and winter, my hope and prayer is we all discover God in the way David did. The Bible, as God’s written Word, probably doesn’t warm us up physically, but it is divinely designed to do so, spiritually. Psalm 119:105 says it best: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
May God’s presence and God’s Word, warm you and guide you, this fall and always.