Theology in the Trenches: Without a Shadow-of-a-Doubt

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Religion Columnist

The midnight oil was burning. Literally, the lamps were lit in the sanctuary. I’d sat within it many a time, but tonight, I nestled my arm into the crook of husband’s. All was calm; all was bright. It was a silent night, a holy night.

Eager I was to point out the candles to the right that are lit from time to time. Over there, his grandchild often sits while her little voice echoes in the quiet of the day to the tune of “Jesus Loves Me.”

And the cross … the one suspended mid-air takes on the mood of the light reflecting upon it from the stained glass windows above. Sometimes the blue hues hit it just so … adding melancholy to the atmosphere. Serene reds splash across as a reminder of the blood stained sacrifice made upon it. Other times, the golden hues bring hope to light. All of these shadows cast their glory on His glory as the sun dials round each day.

But tonight, the hand hewn cross gives witness. It’s a testimony in art form. For, high above it and just behind it, reflecting upon the ceiling is a shadow, the shadow of a cross. Vertically and horizontally it reaches out … providing coverage over all.

The bells ring, the people sing and there is simply no way an architect could have drawn up such perfect plans for such a time as this. Some lights were off, others were on while candles strategically placed added to the cause and effect that could have never been foreseen.

Drawing up the plans was man. Orchestrating them was and is the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Keeping the midnight watch is our Heavenly Father. Behold your King people. Behold the Son of God come down for both the seen and the unseen … for that which is, was, and is and is to come.

As the pastor speaks, He speaks wisdom and truth. “Fear transformed to faith leads to surrender to the will of Christ. Surrender leads to obedience. Obedience calls us to do the will of the Lord.”

The pastor explains, “Joseph, Mary, and the Shepherds all feared. God sent the angels to console them. As Paul spoke to Titus, we know that ‘The God who never lies, promised before the ages began’ that God is a God who consoles.”

And the pastor continues, “Allow Him to be the Lord and Savior of your fears. The Lord looks to rest in the manger of your heart.”

The Lord looks to rest in the manger of our heart … desiring a place in the Inn. Is there room?

There can only be two responses. Yes or no.

You just can’t go wrong with a God who never lies … with a God who always consoles … and a God who desires to be within the manger of your heart. Amen.

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)