“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light,” (John 1:5).

One recent evening during a break in the rain, my golden retriever, Max, and I took our late evening walk. The town was unusually quiet, so we took a nice long stroll. We always enjoy that sense of pause and stillness.

We circled the old town common, still fronted by restored colonial era homes, then made our way back through Main Street and along Saint James Street. We glanced over and noticed how steadfast and — well — consequential our church looked. It is just so solid and so present. The congregation has been a fixture at the corner of Saint James and Saint Patrick streets for 150 years now, 115 of those in this lovely building.

Church in this town, and in our lives too, is a fixed point of reference. Or, as my friend, Rusty Holderness, said: “This space is probably the most consistent space in my life.” There is a sense of constancy here. The Presbyterian church is an unshakable presence in this town — not so much as a building as it is an active community of people, a spiritual gravitas and a testimony to goodness.

I could not help but notice, walking by in the late evening, how even in the dark the church building stands as a witness to the light — maybe especially in the dark. So, I took a couple of photographs and the truth of it, not only via the light but also in the comforting fact of the bricks and mortar, spoke eloquently.

The truth about the power of the gospel is communicated best, of course, via the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that are evidence of the Spirit at work in us.

But I have to say that this church building, standing right in the middle of downtown on a wet Friday night, does a pretty good job.

Peace and blessings.


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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at www.derekmaul.wordpress.com.