Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”
Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:52-62
Darkness and anxiety can overcome us and fear can become our singular guide. The third of July is always a tough day for me, as it was the day my mother fell, and after which she never returned home. It would take nine months before she passed but her quality of life was rock bottom from then on. She had put on a July Fourth bicycle parade for years, feeding kids cookies and cool aid on her front lawn. That ended abruptly. We ran the parade for her the next day, but it felt as if the darkness overshadowed everything.
The hour has come for Jesus to fulfill his final destiny - offering himself up for the life of the world. For those close to him, those who loved him, darkness overwhelmed them and nothing was the same thereafter. We see the painful scenario as Peter repeatedly denies him, then weeps bitter tears at his broken humanity. We are those who often find ourselves weeping the selfsame bitter tears. God invites us to remember, when we feel the darkness settling in, that there is more life beyond these horrid moments.
Today, I ask God to help me look up and remember all the possibilities and promises that await us. May we lift up our hearts and voices, knowing that the darkness is momentary and is never, ever victorious.