"But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness
shall rise with healing in its wings."
Malachi 4:2 (ESV)
The season of Lent begins in the darkness of winter. As it progresses, the day lengthens, which is the basis for the word from which the season derives its name. The season concludes with Holy Week, which always includes a full moon, and Easter, the day of the sunrise. The darkness on this day is completely overcome by the light.
The Native peoples of the north long for daylight; a commodity in short supply since before the winter solstice. The lengthening of days gives a genuine reason to hope for the future.
The Old Testament seems to close on such a dour note; destruction, burning, and ashes which await all the evildoers. But in the midst of his judgments, God declares a sunrise; a sunrise of healing. The healing comes from God overcoming all that is wrong and establishing His version of “rightness” where the people follow God’s ways, trust in His provision, and receive His blessing of forgiveness and restored relationship.
As it happens in nature, God wants to bring it about in your heart and life, and in the hearts and lives of all Native peoples; a sunrise of healing to replace all that the darkness of sin has brought about. Call upon the name of the Lord, and let the healing begin.
Lord God, Creator of all, I call on your merciful name to bring forgiveness and healing to me and to our Native brothers and sisters, through the forgiveness won for us on the cross of Christ. I ask this for the sake of Jesus and in his holy name, Amen.