Learning to See in the Dark
Solstice is a chance to suddenly realize there will be more light, and soon. Wednesday is the longest night of the year. As soon as Winter is officially upon us, the sun is already starting its return to strength.
We never had any idea when Jesus was born. There is nothing in scripture to suggest a season, let alone a date. But there was this really cool pagan festival Sol Invictus which celebrates the Invincible Sun and its annual returning.
The late December party featured lots of feasting, dancing, and I assume great music (alas that we could remember any of it now to replace much of our Christmas playlists!). We piggy backed, and a few centuries later Christ suddenly had his own Mass.
Some congregations host “Blue Christmas” services on or near the 21st. They give quiet opportunity to remember those we have lost and lift up the struggles of life surrounding us. Such services stand almost as protest and gathering in solidarity with those for whom this time of year is not cheery and bright, but just a terrible burden. You may have been in that position at some point, maybe this point. Come to Christmas Eve service Saturday at Genesis 7:00 regardless.
I have learned here in my 50s to take myself a bit less seriously. Yes, I believe I am pursuing God’s Call in My Life. So should you be. I believe I have been given a profound gift to be able to pastor Genesis Church. I hope you are recognizing your gifts this season as well. That doesn’t mean thinks always go swimmingly. Far from it, right?
That also means I try not to take my sadness as seriously either. Having learned some vital waiting this decade I recognize that even Inner Demons have their own schedules and usually tire and leave. Light returns just when I think it is most absent.
I can’t wait to hold a candle with you Saturday. We will be celebrating the Light that came into the World. The darkness has not overcome it. For some of us this will be a declaration of celebration. For others, maybe you, it will feel like a rote repetition of somebody else’s faith, joined in on a wish and a prayer.
I will be up front, holding a flame and singing Silent Night. The dim sanctuary will only slowly lighten as we pass the flame along.
It will be darker than usual, but make no mistake –
I see you.