Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

The Starlit Darkness

[Jonny Baker]

(Give people time to follow this meditation, time to settle and then time to visualise – the pace should be gentle and unhurried, with plenty of pauses in which people can imagine.)

• St John of the Cross spoke of the dark night of the soul
• Karl Rahner said 'All clear understanding is grounded in the darkness of God'
• Helen Waddell describes Christianity as 'the starlit darkness'
• Annie Dillard says:
'You do not have to sit outside in the dark. If however you want to look at the stars you will find that darkness is required. The stars neither require it nor demand it.'

We are going to take time to think about darkness in relation to God
Take a few deep breaths to relax ...... and settle into a rhythm of steady breathing... Ask God to lead your imagination....

When you hear the word darkness what does it conjure up in your mind?

What images do you recall?
What places do you remember?
What feelings does it evoke in you?
What might it mean to speak of the darkness of God?

Just for a moment:
Imagine you are in a house in the country
all the lights are on, artificial light, electric light.
It's time to leave;
You collect your coat and say your farewells and step outside.
It's not like the city - there are no streetlights.
As you step into the darkness everything goes pitch black.
You are dizzy with darkness,
You can't focus on anything.
You walk hesitantly down the path, feel for the gate and get through it.

Now you stand and wait and look around.

Gradually what seemed pitch black becomes less so.
Slowly, your eyes adjust - now you can make out the shapes of trees and houses, and hills on the horizon.
You feel the ground beneath your feet, solid and firm.
You look up.
Above you is the vast expanse of the heavens.
What at first seemed to be only darkness you now see is starlit and incredibly beautiful.
Galaxies, stars, planets, a crescent moon...this is the starlit darkness.
The breathtaking darkness of God
The mystery of God
God is a starlit darkness - breath-taking...
God is a starlit darkness.

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