Thursday, December 22

Reflections on Yule vespers

Last night concluded our advent vesper series and it was marvelous and so very different.  As it was Yule, the theme was about darkness and light. The only light in the sanctuary was provided by the candles which covered the altar and environs (including the advent wreath). It truly was beautiful and the service, simple and unadorned, was very fulfilling.  The light/dark imagery really started to make me think about darkness, the night and other related things.

It is in the light that we believe that see clearly, where things are well known and we are comfortable.  During the day, we are consumed with the business of our lives, our jobs and all of the other 'stuff' which 'demand' our attention.  When darkness falls...real darkness falls.  That's when things change.

"In dark silence, comes whisperings of new beginnings."

It is at night when must we admit (if only to ourselves) we don't see things well, that even the most familiar seems alien and our confidences are shaken.  The rational, logical world of the day turns into some alternate realm where your non-rational mind shows itself.  It is in the darkness that your most basic fig-leaf, belief in your own senses, is ripped away and you are left with the painful discomfort of knowing that you don't know and that, in a very real sense, you can NEVER know.

"In dark silence, comes whisperings of new beginnings."

The Celts believed that nighttime is when the veil that separates this world and the next is thinner and I see that it is in the still of the night that one perceives things and ideas which the day blinded us to. Being shaken out of the rote of the Light allows for change and perceiving things differently affords the opportunity for growth.  If one can sit in that darkness and still the internal mutterings, there is much to learn, to see and to hear in that place which is What is needed to enable that growth and change is to be still, listen and wait.

"In dark silence, comes whisperings of new beginnings."

National Geographic reported some time ago about how our obsession with electric lighting is all but extinguishing the night.  It is becoming enough of an issue in parts of the world that 'dark-sky oases' are being established in first-world nations.  As people who have neither day nor night, we live by arbitrary, artificial, external schedules instead of the clock of the world (or even our own internal body clock). 

To really understand, to truly comprehend, we must go beyond and outside.  Sit in the dark silence and listen to the snow fall.  Accustom your eyes (both inside and out) to the darkness and hear the whispers of new beginnings.

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year Tim.

    Your last paragraph carries great enlightenment. However, if you can't see anything in that dark, sometimes a camera flash helps--especially digital.