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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Winter Wonderings

Tomorrow, December 21, 2107 at 11:28 a.m. EST, will be the Winter Solstice when the sun is at it's lowest point on the southern horizon for the northern hemisphere and at its peak for the southern hemisphere. This occurs every year some time between December 20 and 23. Half of the earth has its shortest day and the beginning of winter while the other half experiences its longest day and the dawning of summer. The sun and earth have been dancing this waltz of tilt and orbit for billions of years.

Humans have always lived in relationship with the cycles of nature all of which are in some way derived from the sun. In modern times of climate control, artificial light, global transportation, wide-spread food distribution, and time management we seem to have lost most awareness of these cycles. Nonetheless they are always with us and silently behind our illusions of control.

Unfortunately, along with loss of awareness of our interdependence with creation comes arrogance and complacency that leads to misusing and abusing the very environment that supports us. The truth is that creation will take care of itself with or without we humans. The human challenge is not saving Earth but caring for it so we can continue to live here.

It is no accident that we Christians, and Western culture as a whole, celebrate Christmas near a major solar cycle. The symbolism of light overcoming darkness aligns with the realities of day and night and winter and summer.  The cycles of our lives reflect the cycles of creation. Seasons come and go.

Also, at the center of the Christmas proclamation "Peace on Earth!" is a reminder to all of us that true peace is not simply the absence of conflict but more so living within the harmony of all creation by loving and caring for the world around us, each other, and ourselves.

That's why the angels in the Christmas story sing, "Peace on Earth to all people!" 

May we all have such peace in this season of light overcoming darkness.

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