The Match of Hope

by DanWolgemuth on February 25, 2022

September 16th, 2021… Mary and I bought tickets to explore the famous Quincy Mine in Hancock, Michigan. A living textbook. A journey into the history of Mary’s family. Copper mining.

Our tour included a hike into the depths of a restored mine shaft, and at the culmination of this hike our guide instructed us to put our cell phones in our pockets and to be prepared for him to extinguish the sparse lighting that illuminated our path. With the flip of a switch, darkness. 

I waited for my eyes to adjust. To calibrate.

But, no.

It was suffocating blackness. Dense. Thick. Unconstrained. Paralyzing.

Layers and layers and layers of darkness.

I waved my hand in front of my face. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

The reality, even for a few minutes, weighed on all who were there.

Five months after a journey to the bowels of the rolling hills of Michigan, I felt the same gasping reality. Darkness.

This time I wasn’t on a tour of a copper mine… no, I was waking up to the confirming news.  “Russian troops invade Ukraine.” And this reality now sits on top of two years of Covid. Hate crime convictions. Toxic politics. Sexual abuse facilitated through power.  Unconstrained urban violence.  And now… war. Indeed, a global leader with more power than wisdom, invades. A bully with an army attacks.

Yes, darkness.

Layers and layers of darkness.

Not a darkness of inconvenience, but a darkness that smothers hope. 

Do you feel it? Perhaps deeply. Perhaps personally. Unbounded lightlessness. A tsunami. Crashing on shores everywhere.

From the start. At the beginning. Darkness. “…and darkness was over the face of the deep.”

Then God… “Let there be light,” and there was light.

In the Quincy Mine, it was the simple striking of a match. A tiny sulfur tip on a small wood stick… and darkness fled. Light pushed and darkness gave way. With a single match.

And into the headlines, against the backdrop of global chaos… Jesus strikes a match. Us. His followers. Tiny sulfur tips on small wooden sticks, but light. Hope illuminated. Guerrilla warfare against the forces of evil.

Inextinguishable. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Jesus said it.

Perhaps, instead of trying to get our eyes acclimated to the darkness we should courageously be, what Jesus declared that we are. Light.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Matches in the mine.

The darker the darkness the brighter the light.

Hope has a name. Light has a source. Darkness has no answer… for Jesus.

And together. Collectively. Consistently… not just on Christmas Eve. Not just in our sanctuaries… light.

A glowing fist raised in protest, lifted in victory.

“You are the light of the world.”

The world waits. In darkness it waits. For us. For light. For hope. For Jesus.

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