Friday, December 27, 2019

Advent and the Solstice

I'm about a month late with this blog, but I'm going to post it.  I'm not getting much notice anyway.

"The people who dwelt in darkness have seen a great light..." (somewhere in Isaiah)
This is one of my favorite verses for Advent, the four weeks before Christmas.

And Advent is my favorite season of the church year, despite the fact that it's the darkest period in the seasons--in the northern parts of the globe.

I think I've always felt the need to look to "the light of the world"--Jesus.  Especially in the dark season of the year.  Jesus is associated with light in many parts of the church year.  And so we get out all those Christmas lights to brighten the darkness closing in around us.  I often wonder what it would be like in the southern hemisphere where there is no Christmas in their winter.  How difficult!

I'm also sure this is why I count down to the Winter Solstice, when the light begins to return.  And I'm not the only one.  Witness all the ancient monuments like Stonehenge that relate to pinpointing the solstices.

The world around us today is getting darker all the time, and not just physically.  All our artificial lights try to hold back the darkness, but instead they obscure the stars in the night sky that our ancestors used as their inspirations and guides.  I hope we can choose not to dwell in the world's darkness and so-called light, and instead embrace the Light of the World.