Dec 22, 2013
The sermon was delivered on Sunday, December 22, 2013, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister.
When the sun rises on Dec. 22 it will have emerged out of the longest, darkest night of the year. Cultures around the globe and across time have found ways to celebrate and respond to both the darkness and the returning of the light. Before much was understood about astronomy, ancient people feared that the sun was dying. Fear of the darkness and alarm over the lengthening nights and shortening days was something that called people to some kind of ritual or religious response.
In religious parlance, darkness is often used as a metaphor for something negative. We hear about “going to the dark side,” or “dealing with the darkness within,” or “dark emotions,” or “dark moments in life.” But darkness has many positive attributes too: seeds grow in the dark, the womb that prepares life is dark, and nighttime is filled with many restorative blessings.
With Sunday falling on the first day of lengthening sunlight, let us begin this day and season by paying special attention and honoring the darkness, even as we come more fully into the light.
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