“Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light”
United Methodist Hymnal – #223
Break forth , O beauteous heavenly light,
and usher in the morning;
December 21, the shortest day of the year. Often referred to as “The Longest Night”, it is not unusual to find many churches, Dayspring included, offering services of varying types. We have held Healing Services, Taizé Services, musical Evensong Services, even Blue Christmas Services for those for whom the holidays are not a time of joy. In fact, the date for Christmas was probably originally chosen for its proximity to the winter solstice. The poet beautifully describes the breaking of the dawn, ushering in the morning. But I’m thinking that today, December 21st, the shortest day/longest night, should be a day/night when we consider that time before the dawn breaks, the hours that can be the longest, darkest, and loneliest. Personal loss, financial stresses, loneliness, all work to create a barrier to what we might know as Christmas Spirit. Everyone should experience to the joys of the season. So . . . what can we, the lucky ones, do for those who might be suffering at this time of year? Lending a hand, or a shoulder could be a start. Opening your home to someone who has experienced loss. Secret Santa, Angel Trees, and Family Promise are all ways we can help. Still . . . one of the easiest, and most meaningful things we can do is just be present with someone else. Listen, Help with a task. Maybe provide a meal. Be someone else’s beauteous light, and usher in their morning. After all . . . joy comes in the morning!
…just as you did it to one of the least of these
who are members of my family,
you did it to me.
MATTHEW 25: 40
Comforting God, we acknowledge that this time of year can be challenging. So many people are dealing with loss, stress, despair, and hopelessness. We thank you for your ever-present love that surrounds us today and always. Guide our steps, Lord, that we might find ways to help, to befriend, to comfort and to support our brothers and sisters in their distress. Amen.