Monday, December 22, 2014

Be The Light -

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” - Hamilton Wright Mabie, American essayist, critic

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year, the day of Winter Solstice.

In the Northern hemisphere, December is the season of darkness. The days grow darker, as they grow colder, reaching their peak at the Winter Solstice, Dec. 21. On this day, the earth begins to change its tilt, and slowly but surely, the days will begin to lengthen.
Dec. 21 is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It marks the beginning of the Winter Solstice, an astronomical event, as well as a pagan celebration. The word "solstice" comes from two Latin words: "sol," meaning sun, and "sistere," meaning day. So, "Solstice' means "Day of the Sun."
In ancient times, the darkness could be terrifying. People were afraid that the days might just keep getting shorter until it was always night. They had celebrations of light to try to encourage the sun to come back to them. As people became more sophisticated and they knew the sun would return after this date in winter, they still celebrated it with many festivities. All of these celebrations had something to do with fire and the coming of light back to the world.
While light is celebrated as a major aspect of the Winter Solstice, it also reminds us that darkness has it attributes too. Babies grow in the darkness of the womb. Plants and flowers begin in the darkness of the seed and soil. The ideas and creativity of our minds springs from the dark interiors of our brain. The darkness also accentuates the light. We would not be able to see the stars without the dark cover that holds them in the sky.
The Winter Solstice, therefore, is a celebration of the birth of the sun, of light and of life. It honors the light, as well as the darkness, without which there would be no light. In a time of darkness, there is light to be found in the flames of an evening fire, in the winter stars shining down on us in familiar constellations, and in the candles of our faith traditions. We all can celebrate the Winter Solstice with the light of love we share during this holiday season. Rejoice!
Dar Williams’ The Christians and the Pagans 

Yule is deeply rooted in the cycle of the year; it is the seed time of year; the longest night and the shortest day, where the Goddess once again becomes the Great Mother and gives birth to the new Sun King. In a poetic sense it is on this, the longest night of the winter, ‘the dark night of our souls,’ that there springs the new spark of home, the Sacred Fire, the Light of the World.
He Is The Gift

Christmas, particularly gifting, is so important to the entire world, regardless of religious persuasion - this time of year cannot be avoided. There are gifts that are often attributed to those given to the Christ Child. These are the gifts of joy, light, hope, love, and peace. While this is a Christian sermon, regardless of your beliefs in Jesus Christ or in Christianity, you cannot escape the Christmas holidays!

The Gifts of the Christ Child By Louise Wardwell

The little Christ Child came with gifts
For every girl and boy.
For every man and woman, too,
He brought the gift of joy.
The brightest star that ever beamed
Shone on that holy night.
Into the darkness of man’s fears
He brought the gift of light.
With promise of eternal life
To all who would believe,
He brought the wondrous gift of hope
And bade all men receive.
And then the greatest gift of all
Came down from heaven above,
A brotherhood to all mankind. . .
He brought the gift of love.
And all men of goodwill He blessed
With faith that would increase
To fill men’s hearts for evermore.
He brought the gift of peace.
I have no worthy gifts to give,
But treasures rich and rare–
The joy, the light, hope, love and peace
He gave to me, I’ll share.
For those of you who are seeking light in dark places, may you find it. For those of you who have found light, may you share it.

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