Here are some thoughts that I posted on Instagram on November 24, 2023. I wrote these reflections on the plane as I was in the air and posted them when I landed in Lyon, France..
Here I am, with my heart full at the beginning of my last international ministry trip of 2023. The number of kilometers traveled this year! The number of graces and gifts received this year! YOU, my dear friends who are here with me in this little space are part of this generous gift, too.
I left our home when it was deep dark outside and I landed when it was still deep dark outside. The darkness only keeps growing these days, BUT, the Winter Solstice is coming!
The Story does not finish with darkness, but in Light. In a world that carries so much bad news, there is real, trustworthy Good News! There is Light!
The darkness of so much pain and hurt all around me lays heavy on my heart. There is too much hardship all around at the macro and micro levels. I can easily let my soul be swallowed by this heavy, growing darkness. BUT, you know what? Soul-Solstice is available! When the Winter Solstice is coming we only get a glimpse of hope. The days are not changed overnight into glorious explosions of Light. The Solstice is just the beginning of this slow growth of light. The Solstice is gentle. In the same way, Soul Solstice is a gentle invitation to find the One who knows us and loves us and keeps us from darkness. He came in the most gentle, non-threatening way – He came as a Baby into a world buried in darkness and desperation. He has a Name – Emmanuel – God with us. As we get ready to celebrate the incarnation of God Almighty, know that He makes Soul-Solstice possible and available for each of us. His invitation is “Come and receive My Light”.
Then the solstice (sol/sun~sistere/stand still***) – will become SonStice – standing still, in awe and worship before the Son of God, Light Himself.
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” John 1:9
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
***The solstice (combining the Latin words sol for “Sun” and sistere for “To Stand Still”) is the point where the Sun appears to reach either its highest or lowest point in the sky for the year and thus ancient astronomers came to know the day as one where the Sun appeared to stand still. – source, The Franklin Institute