Friday, December 1, 2017

Praying in the Darkness

The light outside us grows dimmer; the light within us grows brighter. 

We in Nebraska are going into December with much milder weather than usual. Snowfall in the late fall has been light to nonexistent in our state, and many days have seen temperatures rise past normal. Even though the calendar says December now, some of us are still getting by without boots and our heavier coats and hats, and I’ve heard more than one person say it’s hard to get into thinking about Christmas because of the mild weather.

However, no matter how mild the weather or how lacking the snow cover, the shorter days and lower sun still tell us winter is here. Here in central Nebraska, the sun at the beginning of December sets just after 5:00, and shorter days are ahead in the next three weeks. No matter where we live in the northern hemisphere, the dimming natural light is part of these weeks before Christmas. 

Along with the naturally dimmer days, our nation’s failure to acknowledge and address climate change and its consequences to our environment along with our nation’s current political and cultural backdrop can cause us to feel as if our days are growing darker with other ways. Because of this pervasive sense of darkness, it seems especially important this year to remember both the firm expectation that the natural light will indeed grow brighter and our deeper hope that other forms of brighter light will return to our lives at a time we can’t pinpoint. Because we live in Christian hope, even as the light outside us grows dimmer, our inner light shines brighter against the darkness. 

The focus of the Diocese of Nebraska’s Creation Community this year is to create and pray daily prayers appropriate to each liturgical season that remember the natural environment. Our intention is not only to add these prayers to our own regular daily prayers so we know others in our little community are praying with us, but also to offer them for use by others in the diocese in their daily prayers. 

For Advent, we will offer a short reflection and prayer for each week of Advent.

For people wanting to join us in our prayer, I’ll be sharing a short reflection and prayer for each week of Advent in this space, beginning this evening with the offering for the First Week of Advent. Look for each week’s reflection and prayer on Friday evenings.

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