May 6

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. Isaiah 42:16 

“By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78-79

Anyone else up to see the beautiful sunrise this morning? With grocery shopping at 6 AM becoming the norm, I was up at 5:30 and driving toward a beautiful eastern sky. What started as dark morning became light and daytime. I remember the time of my grandfather’s funeral when his brother and sister and others came from Illinois. They stayed with neighbors near my grandparent’s farm, and as Uncle Jimmy was leaving for that farm one evening, he asked for a flashlight. His sister asked him why, maybe he was afraid of the dark? He replied, No, not scared of it, I just can’t see very well in it.

Isn’t that true of all of us? We can see so much better in the light. When it is dark all paths can look unfamiliar. We can stumble over unseen obstacles that we could easily avoid when there is light. In our world today, it may seem very dark at times. Little contact with other people, staying home, limited supplies of some things and worries about what will happen next. Luckily, we have a God who knows all this and is here with us.

 In Isaiah the blind refers to the people of Israel, who are also called deaf in verses 19 and 20. Verse 20 says “you have seen many things, but have paid no attention;” thus they were as though they were blind. But God is so very patient with us. He will lead us, be with us along unfamiliar and scary paths. Those rough places and obstacles, He will turn into level ground. As we hear in Zechariah’s song, from Luke, God is merciful; He comes down and breaks into our world. Jesus is the light to bring us out of darkness and the shadow of death and to guide us into The Way of peace.

From a poem by George Matheson (O love that will not let me go, set to music by Alert Lister Peace).

Verse 3:

“O Joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

And feel the promise is not vain

That morn shall tearless be.”

[The writer had poor eyesight began going blind in his late teens, finished college, and became totally blind at age 19 while in seminary.  The song was written when he was 40 and serving as a parish minister. ]

Merciful Lord, be the lamp unto our feet and the light in the dark spaces of our lives. Your unending love is a comfort in times of trial. In you there is life, and love and peace.  Help us remember that you truly are the Light in the darkness. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Chris Gabel