How is FCC different from a solar eclipse?
By the time this month’s Congregationalist reaches you, this summer’s highly anticipated solar eclipse will have passed. Before it’s arrival though, there was a steady stream of articles and TV segments all summer long that dealt with topics such as: where to go to get the fullest effect of the eclipse; what time to be in optimal viewing position; and, of course, the customary warning to not look directly at the sun during the event without proper eyewear.
That warning is where the difference between FCC and the solar eclipse can be found.
In a recent edition of The Christian Century, Dorothy Fortenberry, a screenwriter from Los Angeles, offered a definition of “church” as, “a group of broken individuals, united by that brokenness, traveling together.” Then Fortenberry adds, “My family and I don’t go to church to deny the existence of the darkness. We go to look so hard at the light that our eyes water.”
“We go to look so hard at the light that our eyes water.”
We flock to a solar eclipse because we are fascinated with seeing the darkness blot out the light when it shouldn’t. But a church is a place, or at least it should be, where we join with others to form a flock that, while fully acknowledging the darkness – the dark side of our lives, our nation, the world and humanity - also firmly believes that darkness is incapable of ever fully blotting out the light that shines from God into the world and that spark of God within each of us. Church is a place where, if you will, the light of the Son - Jesus - and that light’s ability to guide us, individually and together, through even the darkest times, can’t be eclipsed if we let it into our lives and share it with each other.
As we begin a new fall season together at FCC, the daylight may be getting shorter and less intense, but the light that matters most for our lives as a spiritual community is not. And, with God’s help and if we stay committed, it will not.