Season of Love
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.
~ (full reading Isaiah 9:2-7)
This is truly a night of song. Alleluias surround and hold us. Love is in the air, as close as our next breaths.
Christmas caroling has always been one of my favorite holiday traditions. Growing up in Illinois on Christmas Eve there would be a group of us, young ones and older ones gathering to carol. Friends and family would gather at somebody’s house and we’d traipse out together. We would be bundled up and we’d go crunching out through the snow. We’d go door-to-door, walking up to someone’s porch and somebody would start singing and time would stand still:
“Silent night, holy night all is calm all is bright;”
“It came upon a midnight clear that glorious song of old, with angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold;”
“Hark the Herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king!”
“O little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie.”
No songbooks, we just sang the verses we knew. And the harmonies…the harmonies set me free. It was usually so cold you could see one another’s breath and everything was so quiet except for the singing. I’d look up at the starry night and know that this was what love felt like.
Isaiah’s words ring true on this holy night: “the people walked in darkness have seen a great light…” Somehow on this night the stars shine a bit brighter. On this night the harmony of the singing brings hope for a greater harmony living on. On this night as we listen out for a baby’s cry we feel God’s lovingkindness and believe again.
Breath prayer: “Unto us” “a child is born”
Prayer: On this holy night, O loving God, our hearts turn with great joy to you. Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us, we pray. O holy One we are so very 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.