Darkness and Light
A cloudless night sky at Blackruthven is amazing. We witness it often as part of our evening pattern is a walk in the dark to shut in the chickens. With hardly any light pollution, the stars twinkle in their thousands and thousands and many constellations stand out clearly. When I was a child, I thought it was God who poked holes in the sky to let his light shine down on us. Looking up at the vastness of the heavenly canopy, I remember that story and I feel very small. In a strange way I also feel part of our stunning universe. The slow movement of the moon, across the sky, from new to full is majestic and beautiful and I make a little greeting dance.
We have just had the longest night. Solstice is past. Now we move towards shorter nights, longer days. More light. So symbolic as we move towards the celebration of the coming of THE light of the Christ into our world. The light that shines and cannot be extinguished. Or as the Message Translation has it, ‘the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out. (John 1:5) This year we have anticipated the light with the reappearance of the ’Bethlehem Star’, the wonderful conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter shining bright in the Western sky after sunset. Cloud cover has prevented us from seeing it so far, but we will keep trying.
This year many of us struggle to see the light as we have suffered so many losses of all kinds. The psalm says (Ps139), ‘the darkness and the light are both alike to you’. God is with us in the darkness as well as in the light. Emmanuel! That may be something to remember as we contemplate the night sky.
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ, the light of the world to you.
Arrangement of a Gaelic blessing by John Rutter