Welcome to the historic First Baptist Church of Memphis, serving Memphis & the Mid-South since 1839. You will find exciting ministries, mission opportunities, and vibrant worship.

Sunday Mornings:

9:30am Sunday School
11:00am Worship

Wednesday Evenings:

5:00pm Dinner
6:00pm Bible Study

200 East Parkway North, Memphis, TN 38112 ⋅ Office: 901.454.1131



Light in the Darkness

Ah, fall is upon us, is it not? Not so much in the temperature (I write this in the middle of October), but you can tell we are past the autumnal equinox as darkness is in ascendency.  The sun is rising later and setting sooner.    

Amy Butler, Pastor of Riverside Church in NYC, is fast becoming one of my favorite devotional writers. She writes so honestly, out of her own experience, and she pulls few punches.   Recently in an article for Baptist News Global, entitled “Naming Darkness, Claiming Hope” she reflects on a season when her congregation was experiencing a great deal of darkness and fear and anxiety about the present and the future (sound familiar?), and her understanding of her own pastoral duty in such a moment to offer them some hope and light…and how hard that was then and is still.  

“The darkness seems so inky black these days proclaiming a message of hope sometimes seems like a Pollyanna-ish denial of the evil swirling around us: policies that hurt our neighbors, corrupt government schemes, natural disasters, torch burnings and hate rising to the surface everywhere you look—there are too many to name.”  

In the end, though, she says living with both, seeing the darkness while holding the hope is the task of the faithful. We can even hold the question, “What if it is not true (that light wins) in the end?, While we proclaim the answer: I don’t care. I have to hang on to the light in order to face the darkness.”

See what I mean about her writing and her honesty. That being said, from my own experience, I think I would add…And the longer I hang on to the light I have, the more light I see. At least that’s how it’s worked in my life. What light I have leads me to more light, if I can persevere, if I can hang in there. Scripture seems to speak of this. “Weeping lasts but for a night, Joy comes in the morning,” Psalm 30:5. “Do not grow weary in well doing, for at the proper season, we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up,” Galatians 6:9.

I don’t know what darkness you are facing. But as you are human, I trust you are facing some. As Amy suggests…don’t deny the darkness. That doesn’t do you or anyone else any good, and to do so is to live in a world that is not real. But…don’t get lost in the darkness either. Hold on to the light as well. Hold on to the glimpses of light—goodness and beauty and friendship and hope—that you find even in the darkness.  And let those glimpses lead you to more glimpses, and those glimpses lead you to more glimpses, etc.  And help others, facing their own darkness, to do the same. Such is the honest journey of all who profess, “The Light has shined into the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.” 

Grace and Peace, David

This article was written by Rev. Dr. David Breckenridge and originally published in the November edition of Together.

Posted by Bridget Ellis at 10:30 AM
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200 East Parkway North, Memphis TN 38112
Office: 901.454.1131 ⋅ Fax: 901.454.1135
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