The Light of Christ in Darkness
by Kenny Hadden, Worship Director
And so the shortest day came, and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing, to drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake, they shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them, echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes sing the same delight, this shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks, and dearly love their friends, and hope for peace.
And so do we – here, now, this year and every year.
-Susan Cooper, “The Shortest Day”
It’s no mistake that Christmas falls just after the winter solstice, when darkness covers the northern hemisphere and there is a sense of longing in all our hearts. We long for the warmth of the hearth, for family and food and fellowship. We long for a light to shine into our lives, a sunny day after the long winter’s night that will give us a newfound joy and sense of purpose. We long to unclench our jaws and unhunch our shoulders, to shake off our huddled defenses against the cold world and greet the new year with open hearts.
And as long as there has been winter, people have responded to this deep longing by gathering together, singing, and sharing food. It is a communal recognition of our humanity at this dark hour. It’s a chance to lean on one another and share the hope that comes the Light of the World, who came to break bread with us, take away our burdens, and show us the life that is truly life.
Join your PCJH family this December 21st as we celebrate the solstice by singing carols and sharing a potluck meal. We’ll carol around the Indian Trails neighborhood on a hay-covered wagon and return to the house for food and fellowship. Let’s gather this Christmastime to revel in the birth of Christ the Lord, the “Joy of every longing heart.”
Friday, December 21st at 4pm
Pastor Tammy Mitchell’s house, 850 Seneca Lane
All ages welcome!
Bring a dish to share
Dress warmly and bring a headlamp
See you there!