Pierce The Veil Where It’s Thinnest
Tomorrow, God willing, I am going to a vespers service at church. This is the Longest Night Service that corresponds with the solstice. From the description of the event:
For millennia, people have held festivities at this time of year to celebrate the end of the dark time and a return to the light. This reliable movement of the sun gave ancient peoples comfort as they went into the harsh winter, all the while anticipating and trusting that spring and the increase of light would emerge on schedule.
During Advent, we are invited to settle into God’s love-infused darkness, to embrace a season where much needs to lie fallow trusting that the rest afforded by long nights is a gift. From ancient times Christians followed a pattern, learned from Jewish forebears, to pray at the hinge of the day, as daylight gave way to twilight and then darkness. Vespers begins our descent into the darkness of night and includes the Service of Light which praises God for the light of Christ which is not overcome by darkness.
After worship, we will walk around our outdoor sylvan labyrinth, lit for the occasion by the flickering flames of candles. To me, this is a reminder of the still indomitable natural world and its cycles, even in a time when it feels so abstracted and filtered through various mediums. It’s a way to acknowledge that for all of our modern enhancements, we are still a part of a world made by a creative God.
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