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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Seasons Greetings

In my part of the world, the northern hemisphere, today is the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice.  Getting back to its Latin roots the word "solstice" literally means "the sun standing still." There are two times in the year when the earth's tilt toward the sun shifts and when that shift takes place there is a pause. From our perspective it appears as if the sun rises and sets from the same places for a couple of days. Then it appears to move to the north or south, depending on the hemisphere. Therefore on any given solstice people on either side of the equator are experiencing either their shortest or longest day(s) of the year. As we in the north experience our shortest day and the beginning of winter, it is good to remember that half of the earth is having a long day of sunshine as summer begins.

As the earth pauses, perhaps it is a good time for us to do the same. Today is a good day to stand still and contemplate the fullness of creation and the human experience that includes darkness and light, cold and warmth, pain and pleasure, and so much more...

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. 
What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. God has made everything suitable for its time; moreover God has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before God. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.   ~ Ecclesiastes 3

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