The first reading for the Second Sunday of Lent finds Abraham (Abram) enveloped in a “deep, terrifying darkness.” Sometimes finding yourself under the shadow of God’s wing is a frightening ordeal. So much so, that we do not often talk about the darkness of God- but the darkness and the light are both part of the same divine phenomenon: God’s all-surrounding, over-whelming love.
Perhaps foreshadowing our experience at the Easter Vigil, we go from deep darkness into a twilight illuminated by a “smoking fire pot and flaming torch,” and finally to a transfigured, “dazzling” Christ.
Just as Christ’s death and resurrection become our own death and resurrection, so to is this our transfiguration. We are led to the mountain top, and shown the promised land of what we could be… what we will be… what we are already, in Christ.
The songs for the Second Sunday of Lent need to do two things. We must do our best to help our congregations experience the mountaintop. Through the words and the music (what is written, and how we play/sing it), we can give people a sense of God’s great loving promise, and Christ’s transcendent light.
But we cannot lull people into a complacent sense of “isn’t this inspiring.” We cannot let ourselves or our congregations build a tent up there or tarry long- there is much work to be done for the kingdom. There is a long way to walk before the Promised Land of our ultimate Easter.