Finding hope in the promise of the sunrise.
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“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 English Standard Version
Photographers and painters love the blue hour.
The blue hour is that time before the sun rises or after it sets when the blue wavelengths emitted from the sun scatter through the earth’s atmosphere, but the red wavelengths pass deeper into the universe. Either the blue will soon give way to the warm tones of sunrise, or the rich, warm tones of the sunset will fade into gray.
Yet the color blue not only describes a entrancing moment in each day, it also depicts a downcast spirit. We all know what it means when someone states that a friend is blue.
Maybe you feel like you’re experiencing a blue hour. You feel “afflicted…perplexed…persecuted.” The people in your inner circle don’t understand you. You don’t understand yourself. It seems that someone is constantly pointing a finger at you, declaring that you’re a failure. Your blue hour is anything but a pretty painting or a fabulous photograph.
Paul admits to the Corinthians that he too was “afflicted…perplexed…persecuted.” Life had knocked him down, but he wasn’t destroyed. In his persecution, perplexity, and affliction he understood that he was connected to the suffering of Jesus. But he doesn’t fixate on Jesus’ suffering because he also knew that being connected to Jesus’ suffering meant that he was joined to his life.
We celebrate the “blue hour” not because of the pain, but because of the life that God works in the midst of the pain. Remember, the blue hour not only occurs when the sun is setting, but before it rises too. God desires that we look to his future promises of grace, glory and gladness even when all we see is blue.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO