The Gift of Darkness

Amy Clemens

Read: Genesis 1:14-19

And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. (vv. 17-18)

A night sky is a canopy for smaller lights, and one such light led the Magi on a journey of discovery. If there hadn’t been darkness, they could not have found their way to the child, so as I consider Epiphany, I find myself thinking about darkness and its various gifts.

Although Scripture is clear that God doesn’t need time to rest, I do. The need for night is, in fact, one of the things that separates us from God: “he does not faint or grow weary” (Isa. 40:28), but we do; “he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4), but we must. So he gave the gift of night as a time to trust his keeping, and to rest.

Creation also needs darkness for germination, hibernation, and gestation–processes which, if interrupted, do not produce good fruit. Similarly, research shows if our bodies do not get enough rest, our thinking is unclear and our productivity suffers. In a culture that burns the candle at both ends, the whole story of God suggests that moon, stars, and night all have their purposes, and I for one am grateful!

—Amy Clemens

Giver of good gifts, thank you that you never sleep. In that I find my rest, as darkness comes and weariness with it.