In the Interim: 12/20/2019

terri-burnorAt 10:19 pm on Saturday, December 21, we arrive at the Winter Solstice. This occasion of midwinter marks the shortest amount of sunlight in a day — for us in the Twin Cities, 6 hours and 51 minutes shorter than June’s Summer Solstice. No matter where one lives, the solstice happens at the same moment for everyone on earth.

But the solstice marks more than an astronomical event. This is a time when we are surrounded by joy even when we may want to weep. This is a time when we are enveloped in shadows even as we may glow with brightness. This is a time of contradictions and complexities within ourselves, our relationships, our lives.

May we respond with gentleness, with whatever may be within and around us, with the present reality and the change that meets us with each new day.

As we move through the solstice and the holiday season, may this blessing by Jan Richardson greet you and bring you peace.

– Rev. Terri

Blessing for the Longest Night
All throughout these months
as the shadows
have lengthened,
this blessing has been
gathering itself,
making ready,
preparing for
this night.
It has practiced
walking in the dark,
traveling with
its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by memory
by touch
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.
So believe me
when I tell you
this blessing will
reach you
even if you
have not light enough
to read it;
it will find you
even though you cannot
see it coming.
You will know
the moment of its
arriving
by your release
of the breath
you have held
so long;
a loosening
of the clenching
in your hands,
of the clutch
around your heart;
a thinning
of the darkness
that had drawn itself
around you.
This blessing
does not mean
to take the night away
but it knows
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means
to travel
in the company
of a friend.
So when
this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Get up.
Set out on the road
you cannot see.
This is the night
when you can trust
that any direction
you go,
you will be walking
toward the dawn.

© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com

Each week, the interim ministry team will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme, the state of the church, or the state of the world. MegTerri and Arif will alternate writing this “In the Interim” post. We encourage your comments.

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