Text: Psalm 97
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are
the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him,
and consumes his adversaries on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
We often emphasize light in our descriptions of God, in hymns, prayers, and liturgy. Yet the opening images of the psalm invite us to imagine both darkness and light: clouds and thick darkness, fire and lightnings.
A contemporary hymn by Brian Wren begins:
Joyful is the dark, holy, hidden God,
Rolling cloud of night beyond all naming:
Majesty in darkness, Energy of love,
Word-in-Flesh, the mystery proclaiming.
What dimensions of the image of God might these pictures of darkness be inviting us to see? What do you know of the clouds and thick darkness that you would associate with the experience of God? Take some art materials and draw clouds and thick darkness. Sit with your image and discover what it has to say to you.
– Andy Kille (firstname.lastname@example.org)