Daily Bread January 26

Light Shines on Those in Darkness
Karin Peter, president of seventy

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness-on them light has shined.  -Isaiah 9:2

The American poet Robert Frost once wrote that one kind of perfect happiness is “to have been in pain and have it cease.” This may be physical pain, emotional turmoil, or spiritual emptiness. Whatever the cause, the joy of being released from pain is like emerging from the darkest crevice to bathe in glorious light.

To spend time in the very real areas of pain and suffering-loneliness, illness, crisis, depression, abuse, addiction, bullying and so much more-casts deep shadows on lives of individuals and families.

My family, like many others, has experienced times of debilitating darkness. The rending of a trusted relationship, the ache of divorce, the diagnosis of chronic illness, and the despair of a loved one’s return to rehab have all cast deep shadows of pain and uncertainty.

But even in these dark times, there is a hope, however dim, that somehow and in some way, light will prevail. The heartache of exile and loss will cease, and in its place will come the prevailing light of God’s mercy and grace.

As we navigate difficult times as individuals, families, and as a faith community, may we do so holding fast to the message and ministry of Jesus, the message of healing, restoration, and hope. In loving community let us heed the joyful proclamation, “Those who lived in a land of deep darkness-on them light has shined.” May it be so.

Prayer Phrase

Let your heart be broken for a world in need. -Bryan Jeffrey Leech, \xc2\xa9 1976 Fred Bock Music Company, Community of Christ Sings 353

Spiritual Practice


Lament is an expression of our grief, sorrow, and sometimes confession to God amid the brokenness, injustice, and suffering of the human family. Lament is a major theme of the psalms and an invitation to “let our hearts be broken” as we humbly pray for awareness of right and restorative action. Spend time each day this month practicing the prayer of Lament.

Loving God, break my heart open to my own and others’ suffering because of injustice. Help me stay with what is real even when it is uncomfortable.

Forgiving God, grow in me an awareness of the ways that I consciously and unconsciously contribute to systems of violence, suffering, and injustice.

Healing God, open my eyes to invitations to relieve the physical and spiritual suffering of others.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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