Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

How You Can Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

Sunday Scripture

Late autumn temperatures in the northeast United States require a certain fortitude of speech to continue naming the cold “autumn” when, clearly, the chill in the air and the snow underfoot are speaking the language of “winter.” My giant sunflowers bowed their heads in October, the pumpkins moldered in the compost pile long before Thanksgiving, and the Advent calendar ticks away the days toward the winter solstice, but mostly, I understand winter’s arrival by its long daily darkness.

It all begins as the perfect excuse for window candles and quiet evenings at home, but daylight keeps slipping through our fingers until, mole-like, we emerge from our holes into morning darkness and wash dinner dishes before blackened windows. This week, the earth’s axis will tilt us northerners to our farthest distance from the sun’s warmth, and even if we begin to feel the distance in our bones, the Lord of Creation is subject neither to solstice nor to circadian rhythms. God is just as present in the darkness as he is in the light, as David’s psalm delights to comfort us:

Even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

Psalm 139:12

Comfort in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

This week, the earth’s axis will tilt us northerners to our farthest distance from the sun’s warmth, and even if we begin to feel the distance in our bones, the Lord of Creation is subject neither to solstice nor to circadian rhythms.

When the darkness seemed especially menacing to our sons, we would sing this truth in their bedrooms: “So you are safe ‘though the light grows dim. Even the darkness is light to him.”

When God spoke light into darkness, he didn’t eliminate darkness, but, rather, set boundaries around it for our good. Barbara Brown Taylor writes reassuringly that she has “learned things in the dark that have saved [her] life over and over again.” There are some lessons that can be learned only in the dark.

Everything from tulip bulbs to sleeping children needs darkness. If you have been Welcoming the Light with me during this Advent season, you will have noticed by now that every day’s appearance of light is a unique event with some days putting on a colorful show and others slowly dissolving into gray, but it does arrive. Knowing this, that we are not alone in the dark, that light will eventually come, we can let the darkness do its needful work in us.

This is the message which we have heard from him and declare to you that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.”

1 John 1:5

In the coming days, we will celebrate the birth of a Savior who emerged from the darkness of the womb into a dark period of history to love us toward his True Light.

With the turning of the season, rejoice with me that God will one day extinguish all darkness as bleak winter will be forever swallowed up in everlasting light and life. In the meantime, there is no darkness that can separate us from the love of God!

Holding you in the Light,

P.S.
Part of my own Christmas and end-of-year obedience will include a pulling back here as I spend time with family and invest energy in quiet recharging for next year’s writing, teaching, and living. I’ll be back here on the 29th, in time for the December Book Talk. Blessings to you as you celebrate the arrival of the Light of the World!

Everything from tulip bulbs to sleeping children needs darkness. Knowing this, that we are not alone in the dark, that light will eventually come, we can let the darkness do its needful work in us.

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37 thoughts on “How You Can Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice”

  1. Beautifully said, as always, I’ve so appreciated your timely and encouraging words as you’ve linked up at Scripture and a Snapshot. Praying you have a blessed Christmas as we rejoice in the light together.

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  2. This indeed > “When God spoke light into darkness, he didn’t eliminate darkness, but, rather, set boundaries around it for our good.” This Christmas let hope warm your heart, love warm your family, and the Holy Spirit warm all mankind. Blessings.
    Visiting from Remember Me Monday # 5&6

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Growing up and spending many adult years, too, in the Northeast, I remember those dark days of winter. It’s not quite as dark here in Colorado, but still winter can make us long for the light, so I appreciated this post and epecially this : “In the coming days, we will celebrate the birth of a Savior who emerged from the darkness of the womb into a dark period of history to love us toward his True Light.” You have a way of capturing important lessons from each day, Michele. May you and your family have a Christ- filled Christmas!

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  4. That verse has been a comfort to me ever since it was brought up in a story in a children’s ministry we worked in for a time. Often the lessons help the teachers and aides as much as the children.

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

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  5. “There is no darkness that can separate us from the love of God!” Amen! I loved reading these words as I sit here waiting and watching for the sun to rise 🙂

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  6. I have a feeling that winter means two different things to us in Alabama compared to you in Maine. 🙂 I’m glad we’re now past Winter solstice and can begin having more light again every day. I look forward to this point every winter. I would do well to back and re-read Barbara Brown Taylor’s book to help me appreciate the darkness.

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  7. Michele,
    It amazes me we will not have need for the sun in eternity, because Jesus will be all the light we need. I would do well to remember this in my days on earth. Enjoy your time away – spent with family. Merry Christmas!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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  8. Michele, I’ve thought of you often this month as I raised the shades in the morning, taking notice of the light, and thanking the Light of the world for His blessed coming. Thank you for leading me in that direction.

    I hope your Christmas brought you deep comfort and joy. As ever, I look forward to gleaning from your godly wisdom in the year ahead.

    Bless you.

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