Night. Every time I hear the word “night” I think of M. Night Shyamalamadingdong. You know, the director? I guess the correct spelling of his name is M Night Shyamalan.
Shyamalan’s movies are known for their “gotcha” plot twists. In The Sixth Sense, Bruce Willis’ character was dead the entire movie. [Hey if you’re freaking out, the movie’s thirteen years old, so that’s not a spoiler alert!!!!] The underrated Unbreakable and The Village were good, at least in my opinion.
But after a while, his endings weren’t really that much of a shocker anymore. It would be more of a shocker if he played an ending straight, without a twist.
The other thought that pops in my head with the word “night” is van Gogh’s Starry Night. As unfortunately cliché as it is, it’s my absolute favorite painting. Van Gogh is my favorite artist, bar none.
[Quick tangent. His other painting I love is “Black Crows in a Wheat Field,” which so happens to be the cover art for my favorite album ever from my favorite band ever (Waterdeep’s To Chase Away the Birds.) I pasted it at the bottom.]
If you notice in van Gogh’s painting, there’s a lot of light that happens to be present in this starry night. The lights of creation, sure, but also the lights in the homes in the community below.
Do you notice any building that isn’t lit?
In van Gogh’s works, often light represents life. So van Gogh is making a statement when he forgoes painting light in the church building. Maybe he’s communicating that life happens outside of it. Maybe he is stating that there wasn’t any life in the churches he knew. Or maybe he just knew no one was at the church on that particular night.
Regardless, the Church is supposed to be the place where we find life. I’m not talking about the church building. That’s just bricks and mortar. I’m talking about the people of God. The life we have in Christ, as a community. That’s where the light and life of God is to be found.
The Church represents this unwavering hope in a promise God has given us. We are to hold out the word of hope we profess: that Jesus the Christ came in human flesh, died a death for our sins, and was resurrected to life to give us victory over sin and death.
This ain’t no M. Night Shyamalamadingdong kind of ending were waiting to see. This promise is as straight-forward as it gets. There’s no plot twist or “gotcha” moment. Even if it might seem like God is taking His sweet time, this ending promises to be one we can only hope is as epic as what movies try to emulate.
The night has nothing on what The Day has in store for us.
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”