The Return of Hope

Good Morning!

Today is the Winter Solstice or referred to by many as the longest night. In their book “The Heart’s Journey Through the Seasons: The Circle of Life” Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr write :

“The winter solstice celebrates the return of hope to our land as our planet experiences the first slow turn toward greater daylight.”

I love that thought – to celebrate the return of hope to the land! Sometimes the darkness overcomes us and we get caught in that place of not seeing, not knowing, and uncertainty. These are the times perhaps when we feel very much alone and our souls are thirsting for light and warmth. But the seasons can teach us much about life – even in the darkest times we continue to move around the circle and as the darkness recedes the light will follow.

This is also the message of our sacred story. The prophet Isaiah wrote “ The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light!” And we sing that song loudly, particularly this time of year. The child, Jesus, is for us the sign that light and hope have returned once more to the land! In fact, when he grew up and began his ministry, it is said that Jesus proclaimed himself as light of the world! As the Christ is born in each of us we become the vessel for that light to spread.

The promise of earth, the promise of the Christ, is the coming of the light into the darkness of this world:

Beyond the darkness there is a ray of light
Beyond the fear, trust is alive
Beyond the suffering there is a healing touch
And together we will thrive

May it be so.

Blessings, Valerie

Reminders of the week:

As we move into this final few days of our journey to Bethlehem we hold in our prayers the family and friends of Norma Dixon. Norma finished her journey early this morning and this year she is Home for Christmas. A time and date to celebrate Norma’s life has not yet been determined. Details will be sent out as soon as we know.

Tonight at 7pm, Valley United – A longest Night Service

Christmas Eve
5:30 pm Children’s Service
7:00 pm Story and Song
10:00 pm Candle Light Communion

Christmas Morning
10:30 am A Birthday Party for Jesus! (Worship will be in Memorial Hall)

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