October 24, 2008


Luke 1:35

… and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.

On the surface, fame; deeper down, obscurity. The angel has just told Mary that she will be famous, and she wonders how this will come about, given her empty state. The angel’s answer? Among other things, Mary will be overshadowed.

Overshadowed. Light will be blocked. God’s proximity will throw Mary into darkness.

In Isaiah 45:7, God says, “I cause light to shine. I also create darkness.” The author comments in verse 15, “You are a God who hides yourself.”

This is a puzzling God, alright, whose love for me does not always involve enlightening me or saving me from the terrors of the night. God is not always driven to self-revelation. God is not afraid of darkness, is not anxious to make it go away as fast as possible, and in fact even creates it.

And God can stand close enough to make it impossible for us to see, even impossible for us to see God.