Sunday, December 27, 2020

Darkness and Light

Christmas Day Collect

Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever.  Amen.

Psalm 147:13-21

13 Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; *

praise your God, O Zion;

14 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; *

he has blessed your children within you.

15 He has established peace on your borders; *

he satisfies you with the finest wheat.

16 He sends out his command to the earth, *

and his word runs very swiftly.

17 He gives snow like wool; *

he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

18 He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; *

who can stand against his cold?

19 He sends forth his word and melts them; *

he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.

20 He declares his word to Jacob, *

his statutes and his judgments to Israel.

21 He has not done so to any other nation; *

to them he has not revealed his judgments.


Galatians 3:23-25, 4:4-7

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

I am an Adopted Child who also has Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This time of year is hard, but the writings above help. “The Word” is meant to be Jesus in this writing from John but it could also be OM (see last week) or simply the idea of sound existing before light (as in Genesis 1). This time of year, winter, when light is less, sound still exists in the dark. So, if the Word or Sound or Om or Jesus exists before light AND in the darkness, then darkness has no power.  Yet SAD courses through my veins like a veil making it so hard to see the light.

This darkness, this time of year, could be compared to the Guna (energy state) Tamas or cold, or lethargy. The state Sattva is even or balanced and compared to spring. Whereas, light or summer could be compared to Rajas, or an overactive and fiery state.  Winter is hard.  There is a natural tendency to hibernation. Yet Christianity choses this moment to celebrate God the Son, the Word, entering the world.  Perhaps this time is chosen simply to contrast it to the springtime Easter sattva time and the fiery Pentecost of early summer. That Jesus came to help us to overcome the darkness, the SAD or the sad.

I was born in early February just after sunrise. I was adopted in late February as the days were getting longer. I was confirmed in early March when the days were still longer.  Perhaps this is perfectly timed between Christmas and Easter.  Perhaps I should focus my attention to the Word and not the darkness. Perhaps I should accept the changing energy states as the rhythm of life. I continue to try.

“The Light of Christ has Come into the World!” -Celtic Service


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