I love sitting down over a first cup of coffee to imagine you sitting across from me, leaning against the beautiful quilt my friend Jill made and sharing our first thoughts this morning.
December 21 has passed. I'm basking in the afterglow of a beautiful day, the celebrations that transpired, the laughter and joy I experienced: breakfast with longtime friend, a glorious blue sky and sunny day, the invigorating deep water workout at the pool and a celebratory spin down the 5-story high waterslide (complete with banging my head and hopefully knocking some sense into my 61 year old noggin!), finding the last of the gifts, dinner out at a lovely restaurant, a wine and cheese tasting with a group of friends and finally, the long anticipated arrival of my son and daughter-in-love for Christmas, complete with long hugs, good conversation. Then off to bed for a peaceful night of sleep. It was a day of great joy and a silent, peace-filled night.
My birthday, our winter solstice, marking “midwinter,” is the day with the shortest period of daylight and longest night of the year, when the sun is at its lowest daily maximum elevation in the sky. No wonder then, being born on that day in 1957, that I’ve always been a night owl! Yet I am ever and always so very grateful for sunrise, and celebrate not just my birth but the turning of the earth’s axis back toward the sun, with its increasing daylight each day. In the same way that I anticipate sunrise after a long dark night, so I look with gratitude each day to the Light of the World to bring me out of my personal darkness.
The advent reading for Dec. 21 from “Waiting here for You” speaks of the prayer of Zechariah at the birth of his son, John, who would be a messenger sent from God to prepare the way for Jesus:
“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
And John the Baptist did indeed fulfil the Holy Spirit's prophecy through Zechariah. When John saw Jesus coming to be baptized, he exclaims: "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" Following this One who brings light and life is our pathway to joy and the source of pure love. May you find this Sun of Righteousness rising in your heart this Christmas.
Photo 1: This morning's snapshot
Photo 2: Sourced online here.