Thea, sloth is a long summer day, sluggish heat and scorching sky willing me to while the day away. Be a desert dawn, Holy Muse, that I may breathe in the scent of your plump, crisp air and get going. Amen.
My daughter danced my parish into Christ's birth last night. That memory will remain with me for the rest of my days. ~~~ As part of my Benedictine prayer practice, I read the lections of the day according to the Book of Common Prayer. A portion of the first letter of John was today's second reading. This line pealed out like holy bells: "[A]s long as we love one another, God remains in us, and God's love comes to its perfection in us." Sounds a little bit like the preaching of the new bishop of Rome, no? Sounds even more like the nudgings of Jesus. Where two are three are gathered in love, there is God. There was God last night. There was God around our Christmas tree this morning. There is God now as we prepare our Christmas feast. There will God be as we lovingly greet familiar friends and strangers throughout Christmastide. May these twelve days to Epiphany be filled with blessings and your own ongoing, Spirit-ed expressions of sacred love.
O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol iustitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis. O dawn of the east, brightness of light eternal, and sun of justice: come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
A few years ago, I wanted to name my first child Aurora--not after the Disney princess, but after the rosy-fingered dawn. Christ is sometimes imagined as Apollo, the bringer of bright sun-fire, but I imagine Christ as those fuchsia streaks anointing the darkness with chrismic light. Today was also the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, the darkest day of the year. On this day I think of John the Baptist, whose feast day is six months prior to this day, on the longest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere). It's the day when earthly light prepares to diminish, the same way John prepares: "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).