December 21st is the longest night, or winter solstice. The word solstice comes from Latin sol “sun” and sistere “to stand still.” As we enter into a holy time as a church of prayer and discernment, you are invited to join in the prayer movement on this longest night.
Japanese artist, Soichi Watanabe, uses simple geometric shapes and faceless figures in his work to invite viewers to see themselves in the story he is painting and to recognize Jesus Christ in the faces of other people. His paintings reflect his response to God’s work in his own life.
From the manger, a wide beam of light emanates from the infant Jesus, illuminating the faces of those gathered around him. This light — the light Christ brought to the world — continues to shine today. The invitation to each of us this Advent and Christmas is to shine the light of Christ in such a way that everyone we encounter can’t help but lean in for a closer look.
– From the Upper Room Devotional November – December 2018
Giver of light, in the light of your Christ I see myself clearly as your child. I rise in thankfulness for you are present when I sleep and when I am awake. I rise to come to you in the hours of joy and in sorrow. I rise to live this day in your wisdom, without fear, without acrimony, but with charity toward those I meet and toward myself when I find I am wanting. Lead me into your desire for me this day, O Lord. Let me know your love is deep and abiding; in Jesus’ name. Amen.
by Andrew Seltz
Today take a moment to “stand still.” Breathe in, breathe out, and pray. Take a moment to remember those who are no longer with us, pray for God’s healing light to touch those grieving and fearful, and give thanks for His son the light, Jesus Christ.
For those who mourn, the lights are not so bright and there may be a feeling of despair. Each Merry Christmas and Ho Ho Ho reminding them, that this holiday cheer seems to not be all it is cracked up to be. This maybe their first Christmas after a love one has passed, they may be newly single, or fighting a battle we cannot see. For them the bright shining excitement of Christmas is dim. Be there, stand still, breathe in, breathe out, pray, open your eyes a look for a way to be present for someone in need. https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/blue-christmaslongest-night-worship-with-those-who-mourn