O Come, thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by the drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Emmanuel shall come to thee,
Today is the shortest day of the year. Tonight is the longest night of the year. It is especially holy that today we sing about Christ, the Dayspring, and the promise of bringing light to the darkest places of our lives.
In Houston, our shortest days are not that short nor our longest days all that long. However, when I was in Iceland in May, the only challenge for me was that even though there was a supposed sunset in the middle of the time we call night, it never really got dark; it was always light. Hotel rooms in Iceland were rated by travelers by how well the curtains would darken the room at night for sleep.
Today in Reykjavik, the sun rises at 11.30 in the morning and the sun sets at 3.30 in the afternoon; however, those four hours in the sun are actually full of darkness. The shortest day of the year in some places in our world may never have any apparent sun light.
On this winter solstice, we sing of the Light of the Son that goes into the darkest places of our lives and hearts. For some of us this Advent, our darkest place is the fear and grief of the separation of death. In our hymn, we pray as we sing that Emmanuel, God is with us, even there, especially there.
Once again, we sing that in Christ there is no darkness at all, the night and the day, life and death, are both alike in him.
How will Christ’s light come to you today?
Today we are invited as we sing to look for Christ in our very darkest moment.