Celtic Missional Advent December 21st: lessons from geocentric holydays

Advent December 21st: Winter Solstice
Psalm 148
The Lessons of Geocentric Holydays

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;
Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.
Praise the Lord!

The sun reaches its southern DSC_4548most declination and the earth begins the slow wobble back on the December Solstice. Over the next 6 months the sun will move higher and higher into the northern skies. Summer will rise in the Northern Hemisphere, and Winter will approach in the Southern Hemisphere. New rhythms of life begin for those who live in the locations of short days/long nights and long days/short nights. Here in Salem, MA the winter has begun. The shortest day/longest night of the year is here. Yet, the days will only get colder and colder from now until from now until Spring begins to approach. The long nights have only just begun their work of cooling. We still have a few months of cold winter. The lesson of the solstice is evident: Even when the promise of light and deliverance comes our way, the actual performance of that promise may still be a way off. We hope, we pray, and we have patience in the coming of the promise – whether it is Springtime, or some other deeply desired thing. The missional person sees the season and the lessons they teach us, and uses them to remind our world of God’s grace.

December 21st is the Solstice on most years. 2015 this is the case, and the sun reaches its southern most inclination at 6:03pm EST. Most of our Holidays (Holy-Days) are anthropocentric. They remember humans, and the deeds of humans.Very few of the celebration days are based in the motions of the earth, and the lessons that come from it. The solstice is one of those times, when the motions of the earth remind of of the rhythms of life.

Prayer: Lord, give me patience to hold on Your promises though the days and nights get colder. Cause me to remember the hope of the lengthening days will eventually yield the results of warming days, and that these warming days are a reminder of Your care, Your love, and Your blessings upon all humanity.

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