This past Tuesday, December 21st was the official beginning of winter. It is known as the Winter Solstice when the sun travels closer to the southern horizon. It is the shortest day of the year… only 7 hours, 49 minutes, and 42 seconds long. That also means that December 21st – 22nd is the longest night of the year coming in at over 14 plus hours of darkness! Thankfully, the sun begins its journey north the very next day and the day’s become longer and the nights become shorter.
As a church, we have spent the past 4 weeks in the season of Advent… of waiting. I mentioned a couple times that it is sometimes called a “mini-Lent.” A time for reflection and maybe even a little somberness. That’s one reason we don’t pull out all the Christmas hymns the first Sunday after Thanksgiving. Instead, our liturgy and worship services are crafted to lead us slowly and thoughtfully to the light of Christmas. Each week we light one more candle on the Advent wreath as we take one step closer to the birth of Jesus. On Christmas Eve we light all the candles, and the room is bathed in light and joy!
These past couple of years have been especially dark for all of us and we’re tired. You may remember me saying in order to really appreciate the light, we sometimes need to walk in the darkness. My friends, the light is coming! I hope you will join us for worship tomorrow evening at 7:00 pm for a service of joy, light, and Holy Communion.
Even though we’re a day early, Jim and I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!