While Advent is a season of hope and Christmas is a season of joy, we know all too well that not everyone feels hopeful or like celebrating right now. The pandemic, grief, illness, aging, depression, loneliness, unemployment, and loss are magnified. Those who are not struggling with losses may feel the stress of changed preparations and expectations around Christmas this year especially. Moreover, we know that this year has been particularly wearying for those who are leaders of congregations and their families.
We hope that this brief service may provide a time and place of solace during the often-frenetic days surrounding the final preparations for what will be a very different Christmas. We come together seeking healing and room to share grief, sadness, loneliness, or confusion when there is often not this space for us as leaders to do so.
In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21 is the longest night, the winter solstice. It marks the shortest day of the year, the official start of winter. Tradition says that nature and all her creatures stop and hold their breath to see if the sun will turn back from its wanderings, if the days will lengthen and the earth will once again feel the sun’s warmth.
Well, here we are. The longest night is past. Today, the days begin to grow longer, and the light will be with us a bit longer than it was yesterday. In the light of this day, we come with our honest weariness and yearnings looking to the return of light and hope and joy.
This service was recorded on December 22, 2020 for you on the Sunday after Christmas or any time in Epiphanytide.
-Click here to view and download the bulletin (PDF).
-Click here to view and download Bp. Jon Anderson’s Sermon (PDF).
-Click here to view and download video.