Here is some good news you can use: even when light fades and darkness falls—as it does every single day, in every single life—God does not turn the world over to some other deity.

— Barbara Brown Taylor

Be it a global pandemic, the threat of war, an intimate loss, a looming uncertainty…we all have times when the light fades, when we are faced with deep disorientation – our trusted landmarks no longer visible, the horizon disappears and we no longer know quite where we are headed or how long the journey will be. No wonder we tend to be afraid of the dark; no wonder we invent endless varieties of artificial light.

But there are some lessons that can only be learned in the dark. And if we can summon the courage to face its reality, we may discover that our eyes adjust, and that new landmarks appear, and that we are not so alone as we may feel.

Lent is the church’s way of honoring the darkness (as equally blessed by God as the light – see Gen. 1). It’s the season we consciously set aside our distractions and busyness and strivings for comfort and direct our attention to the mystery of God and to the inner landscape of our soul – particularly the parts from which we are tempted to hide.


The Book We’re Reading:

Barbara Brown Taylor is one of my favorite authors and guides to the spiritual life. An Episcopal pastor, university professor, gardener, sage…she knows how to embody a soul committed to God and to love. And her book, Learning to Walk in the Dark (free on Kindle!), is as profound as it is humble and earthy.

Throughout Lent, those who would like are invited to read along and join a weekly Lenten conversation (see below). There are even some guided reflections and meditations on the book available on the Ritual app.



Guided Prayers and Meditations:

At the heart of Lent is prayer. Intellectual understanding has its place; and the Lenten sermons from Matthew are available in the usual sermon series archive. But this year, I want to post some additional audio guided prayers and meditations of own creation. Some are simply readings of psalms, others recitations of the daily office (from the Book of Common Prayer), and others are short lightly-guided meditations to help us slow down and center ourselves in God’s presence for a moment. They will be posted below as they are released.

Online Conversations…

Because community is an essential ingredient in our growth, we will be hosting weekly Zoom conversations throughout Lent. These one-hour, lightly-directed conversations will be held Wednesday nights from 7-8PM (PDT), BEGINNING MARCH 9th.

This is a simply a time to reflect on the book, the sermons, the meditations, or anything else Lenten that is stirring in your soul.

To join the Zoom conversations you will need to register here. A link will then be automatically sent to your e-mail address.

It is a time of great transition in our world, and we need a considered moment to acknowledge the deep disorientation we have and may well continue to experience. But as Barbara Brown Taylor reminds us: “…when darkness falls…, God does not turn the world over to some other deity.” So let us use this Lent to learn more about faith in fading light.