The light shines in the darkness
The Rev. Kirsten Fryer
The Rev. Kirsten Fryer, an ELCA missionary in Egypt, is the pastor at St. Andrew's United Church of Cairo. Here is an excerpt from her recent newsletter. To support Kirsten, or another of the ELCA's over 240 missionaries in the global church, click here.
Every Sunday evening, I gather with a handful of members at St. Andrew's for a quiet, contemplative, candlelit service. Quiet might be a rather optimistic description, as the silences are almost always interrupted by car horns and mini-bus drivers shouting out the names of their routes.
One time, the garbage truck came during the service, complete with backup beeping and the booming of the dumpsters being set back on the ground.
Although we use the same texts as on Friday morning during the more formal, larger service, I try to say something at least slightly different in the reflection than I did during Friday morning's sermon.
Throughout the season of Epiphany, we have been struck by the promise that the light shines in the darkness. In spite of increasing unrest in Egypt, violence in places such as South Sudan, Syria, and Nigeria, and continued clean-up and grief related to Typhoon Haiyan, we cling to the promise of the light who shines in the darkness.
The service includes a time for prayer and reflection when members are invited to light candles and pray around a wooden cross. As the candlelight illumines their faces, I watch them pray for family members and friends, for peace, for stability.
As with all of St. Andrew's events, the group who gathers comes from many places, and while the prayers are silent, I imagine that they are lifted it up in no fewer than three or four languages each Sunday evening. It is a reflection of light illuminating darkness, not just here in Cairo, but around the world.