During Lent we gather faithfully to pray in the twilight, the lingering threshold of light when “the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 325).
We’ve come from the season of light—Advent with its wreath of candlelight, Christmas and the shining stable in the night, and Epiphany’s star-led Magi. In every age and culture people have seen light as an image of the divine presence.
The Gospel writers were skilled at turning the mythic, psychic power of light toward Christ. He is the light of the world, the light for the nations, the light from heaven. And our worship is filled with canticles and hymns to the light, prayers for enlightenment, and softly burning candles that mark the place of our worship. We present candles to the newly baptized and exhort them to let their light shine before others.
But there is a place for relishing the darkness too: twilight.
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