Given By Dr. Fernando Arzola Jr. June 11, 2017
Today’s sermon comes to us from the reflections of Dr. Fernando Arzola Jr. on a painting. The Rembrandt painting titled Philosopher in Meditation is said to be of Tobit and Anna awaiting their son, Tobias, to return. The man sits between the light and humanity. A dark staircase leads off into a mysterious darkness. It shows an in-between moment leading to deep reflections. It is a moment of transformation and transition. The act of contemplation is one of active disengagement so one can reflect on the past, experience the present, and consider the future. What is not seen is a woman at the top of the dark stairway. Dr. Arzola feels this represents either the people who will greet us in the next mysterious phase of life or act as a guide for this next chapter of life. This quiet moment is like the eye of a storm, allowing time to absorb the impact of both the good and the bad in life. Thinking in more spiritual terms, these moments are like thin places. These thin places are where we experience the closeness between the sacred and the secular, the mysterious and the rational, awe and skepticism, God and humanity. Life is a journey, balancing between living in the light and the shadow of mystery while being in service to humanity. Everyone has a thin place where they can experience the divine. These places can be vastly different for each person. Some are filled with many religious symbols while others are very simple. The true meaning still remains within ourselves. It is a place that while existing in you is also greater than you. That is the paradox. Let us all contemplate the mysteries that surround us.