One of the gifts of following the moon for her 29 day journey is the recognition of grace along the way. As we turn from the evenings with the lost light toward the darker nights, we are reminded to hold on. These nights are individual and particular in their lessons. These nights take us to places where we fear we may be lost. And so we journey on, continuing to be taught and reminded of what we may already know.
Relying on the Moon: Companioning Grief for 29 Days (adapted) by Lesley Brogan
On this Eve of Christmas Eve my heart feels like it’s settling in. I feel as though I’m coming to understand the gifts of this waiting time. It’s like being on a train ride. Back at the station when we started there was beginning words and feelings: “Am I ready?” “Do I have everything I need?” “Shouldn’t I wait and finish this and that and those first?” All those beginning distractions accompanied us back at Advent’s beginning. But this day feels different. Almost, almost.
Of the four quarters of the moon, the Waning Moon is my most challenging. It is the quarter moon that tells us that the nights are growing darker, that there will be less light to guide us along the way. Our eyes and minds tell us one thing, but our hearts yearn for something else, long for something else. We are seeking more light along the way to guide us.
And maybe that’s part of the truth about the Eve of Christmas Eve. It’s not yet here. It's easy for us to forget that there was a time centuries ago, before Christ’s birth when every day and every night felt like this. When will life change? When will God’s promise come? And will I recognize it? Or will I miss it?
This Eve of is such a holy day. The train left the station weeks ago. We have journeyed through words and stories reminding us of God’s intention for peace, God’s hope for us, God’s great plan for joy, the promise of God’s loving presence…prayers all along the way have led us here. And now, this day we begin to sense it. There is a knowing in our hearts that the train’s slowing down, as if we’re nearing our destination.
And here on this day we are reminded that this has been the promise of the entire season. Almost, almost.
Breath prayer: “Come” “holy-day”
Prayer: God of Light, we give you thanks for guiding us each day on this journey. Your loving presence is always with us, called or not. Your faithful care for us is always with us. You call us by name and we are thankful. Amen.
Working as a Hospice Chaplain, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.