Today is the shortest day, the day with the least amount of daylight in the year. It is the day of the longest night. Night is particularly hard for those with no place to call home. Night is particularly hard for those who are lonely and isolated. Night is particularly hard for those who grieve. For some, these past months have felt like a lot of night, particularly those who have lost livelihoods or lost loved ones or who have stood at the front lines of this season of pandemic. Night can be hard, and there is more of it today than any other day of the year.
But today is also the day when we make the turn toward longer days and less night. Today, we’re closer to the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord, the celebration of the light that comes into the world and scatters the night. In these few days before Christmas Mary, the mother of Jesus offers us tangible images of what sort of night Jesus comes to beat back. His work will fill up the hungry and lift up the lowly and undo the powerful. In other words, if you are lost or empty or alone or frightened of the future, he’s your guy.
If you feel like you’ve been on a long, long journey, a journey that feels like it might not end, Mary’s words to us are hold fast. Hold fast because longer days and shorter nights are ahead. Hold fast because the light of the world is coming.
Pastor Gary Erdos