Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/10/2022: Faith practices -- longest night

Today please be in prayer for

Meriden UMC
Topeka District
Rossville UMC
Topeka District
Sabetha: First UMC
Topeka District
Bern: Ebenezer UMC
Oneida UMC
Seneca UMC
Topeka District

Faith practices: The longest night/solstice

For those who live in the Northern Hemisphere, the longest night and shortest day falls between December 20 and December 22. The longest night is also called the winter solstice. If your family is feeling down for any reason or experiencing grief, the winter solstice is a good time to name that hard time or grief, mark it, and remember that subsequent days will be getting longer. The longest night doesn't last forever; the days eventually get longer and brighter.

All you need for this practice is a candle and the words below. Gather everyone around a table with the candle and say, "Today, on this longest night, we remember that even though there is a lot of joy during the Advent season, sometimes there is sorrow, too. We light a candle for [name the reason you've decided to have a longest night ceremony]. We take a moment to remember that, though the nights can feel long and dark sometimes, brighter and longer days are coming soon. Let's pray together. [Read the longest night prayer or any other prayer you like.]"

You can close your longest night moment by extinguishing the candle and saying, "Peace to our family and to our hearts. May we trust in the light that is to come. Peace, peace. Amen." After the ceremony, do something quiet together, enjoying one another's quiet presence. Snuggle together and watch a movie, or go for a drive to enjoy the Christmas lights around town. Remember that sadness and joy can exist together.

Longest night prayer

God, this candle reminds us that there is light, even in the longest night. We thank you for the opportunity to name the things that are difficult for us this season, and for the hope we have as the sun shines more and more each day. Help us to be near to one another and to you as we lift up our prayers on this day


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