Tonight is the longest night, or winter solstice. Because of the tilt of the earth, we know that we will be experience the longest night. But, we also know that there are other long nights. There are long nights of anticipation. Remember the night before. It could have been the night before a big event in your life. It could have been the night before Christmas. You were so excited about the next day that you could not sleep. The night before my daughter was born, my husband stayed awake to make sure she and I were okay. (He was worried that I would sleep through active labor.)
There are long nights of grieving. We have all experienced loss in our lives. There is the one we loved who left, and we knew that life would never be the same. There is the long night when we lost our way in the world, and we realized that we and our view of the world was forever changed. We grieve the loss of our perceptions. We grieve the loss of hopes. We grieve the loss of dreams
There are long nights of loneliness, fear, and isolation. We feel as if the darkness may overcome us. We fight and rage against the darkness, or we hide ourselves in the darkness. Our responses vary, but we have all had darkness in our lives. You may even be experiencing darkness now.
We are preparing for celebrations that the light of God has come. The light came into the world and darkness did not overcome it. The light came to be born among us. The light is now in us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We, who are Christians, are called to bear God’s light to the world. We are called to help those who reside in darkness. We are to offer light, hope, peace, and love. We put lights throughout our homes and in our windows this time of year to announce the light has come into the world.
The decorations are great, but they are not enough. We are called to light the world. How will you light the darkness of your world? How will you be God’s light on this longest night?