A Solstice Service of Light (20-30 minute Reflection)

Earthdawn

The Winter Solstice marks the midway point of darkness for the northern hemisphere. Depending on how far north you live, this marks a great celebration among some peoples for the return of the light, signifying a renewal of life and the turning of the seasons.  This remake of a 2020 livestream is my Christmas Card to all of you this year in my new home of Corvallis, Oregon at the congregation of First Presbyterian Church. Thank you for welcoming me into your midst.  Many blessings to you and yours in this season, and in the year to come.

Invocation 

I light a light of Hope, to kindle hope in the coming year,

I light a light of Peace, to kindle peace in the coming year;

I light a light of Joy, to kindle joy in the coming year,

I light a light of Love, to kindle love in the coming year.

In the name of the God who creates life,

In the name of the Savior who loves life,

In the name of the Spirit who is the fire of life.[1],

I light this Light for the Great Light that brings forth Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love in our lives.

A Reading

“The Shadow Between the Light” by John O’Donohue

Black is probably the most ancient colour, the primal birth-source whence everything emerged. Darkness is the great canvas against which beauty becomes visible. Darkness withholds presence; it resists the beam of eye-light ad deepens the mystery. The slightest flicker of bright wings can make the darkness of a night unforgettable. It is fascinating to consider that ancient kinship of light and dark, white and black.  White light always shapes the darkest shadow. Indeed the shadow is the child of the threshold where black and white converge. There could be no shadow without light.[2]

Sharing of Darkness and Light

“Take us into silence God of all, embrace us with the silence out of which the universe was made” ~ Janet Lees[3]

Pieces of darkness and shadow: Sometimes we can bravely share the stuff of shadow; other times it is best to let it rest.  If you have a prayer for a darkened or shadow place in your life, and if the Universe could take any hurt you have seen or experienced, would you let it go?  We invite you now to release it.

(Press play to listen to “Within Our Darkest Night”):

A Reading

“The Shadow Between the Light” by John O’Donohue

Black is probably the most ancient colour, the primal birth-source whence everything emerged. Darkness is the great canvas against which beauty becomes visible. Darkness withholds presence; it resists the beam of eye-light ad deepens the mystery. The slightest flicker of bright wings can make the darkness of a night unforgettable. It is fascinating to consider that ancient kinship of light and dark, white and black.  White light always shapes the darkest shadow. Indeed the shadow is the child of the threshold where black and white converge. There could be no shadow without light.[2]

Darkness can also be a place of rest.  Secure in sleep or gazing in silence at the starry night sky, we can rest in quiet and learn to let the darkness give us rest. On this day of solstice, I invite you now to rest in the shadows of darkness, wait for the light, and then, waking as if from sleep to the dawn of a new day, open your awareness to where, when, and how the Light increases.  Where have you seen the Light increase around you?  How can you bring more light to yourself, to your loved ones, or into the world? Optional Journal Prompt: In times of waiting and transition, how do you wait? What is active?  What surrounds you? What are you expecting next? What intensions do you seek for a new birthing of the Light?

A Reading Inspired by Genesis 1

On the fourth day God said, “Let there be lights in the heavens.”

So the wind carried fire on its wings and scattered light through the skies. There was a great light to rule the day and a gentler light to rule the night; and there were glittering galaxies beyond number.

The sun, the moon and stars moved in harmony. They guided the seasons. They marked the days and the years.

They shone on earth as signs of heaven.

God saw that it was good. And there was evening and morning, creation’s fourth day.[4]

Prayer

Blessed are you in the high heavens, O God. Let the sun and the moon praise you. Let the stars and all that shines with glory praise you. For you are the God of all creation.[5]

In the rising of the sun and its setting, in the whiteness of the moon and its seasons, in the infinity of space and its shining stars you are God and we bless you.

May we know the harmony of heaven in the relationship of earth and may we know the expanse of its mystery within us.[6]

As we prepare to enter into a new year, a time when the light both physically and literally grows each day for those of us who live in the North, we offer the following song and invite you to listen and consider how you, too, can become light for your community of faith, for your village, your town, and your family – whatever that may be for you – and your friends.  May the Great Light be kindled anew in you.

image

“In the dawning of the day, new light arises. In the dawning of each day, our own souls rise, lights reflecting The Light, rising to reflect our own resurrections” ~ stc

This service made possible in partnership with Chaplain Brian Anderson of Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, AK; Kristin Crane Anderson, M.Div., Spiritual Director, Anchorage, AK; and Rev. Dr. Scott T. Crane, Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis, Oregon, and especially the various YouTube recordings/Artists whom have shared their music with the world; without which we couldn’t bring this reflection to you.

Resources:

Various YouTube Artists, the songs they have recorded and given to the world.

The Sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, Corvallis, Oregon

[1] John Philip Newell, Celtic Treasure: Daily Scriptures and Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005), 16.

[2] John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace (Broadway, NY: Harper Collins, 2004), 93.

[3] Janet Lees, Word of Mouth: Using the Remembered Bible for Building Community (Iona, Scotland: Wild Goose Publication, 2007).

[4] Newell, 17.

[5] Newell, 17.

[6] Newell, 18.

About Scottrick

Parent ~ Pastor ~ Poet ~ Author
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