Daily Bread Dec. 21

A Solstice Blessing
By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin of San Anselmo, CA, USA

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. —John 14:27 NRSV

Dark and light are not as separate as we suppose.
What of dusk and dawn, of shadow and shade?
What of starlight radiance and glow of moon?
What of cloud cover and rain-obscured sun at noon?

Glimmering, flickering flame of candle—
Circle aglow in surrounding night?
Sunlight streaming through trees,
Slanting beams in late afternoon—
Beauty in the balance of the luminous
…and the hidden?

So it is in us. The necessary pull
Of moon, and rise of sun-sustaining life.
Inner shadows inviting healing,
Colors of dawn gleaming in the new-day soul.
Descending dusk, letting go into night
Where Spirit works unseen, within.

Edges of light greeting darkness—
Spaces of passage where what we try so hard
To keep divided becomes indistinguishably one.

The longest night of my life here is,
Across the globe, the longest day for another.
And my longest day is another’s longest night.
Light never vanishes, nor does the darkness.
What I seek and what I resist are always present
Somewhere…even when not visible—
Always an invitation and an inevitability.

Blessed are you who live in the intersections
Where darkness meets light. Blessed are you
Who refuse to separate the union of opposites
Needed for fullest life and balanced growth.
Blessed are you who enter the longest night
With a heart open to the gifts the darkness brings.
Blessed are you who bask in the longest day
To soak in the fullness of what is revealed.
Blessed are the dark and the light
Blessed the spaces where they meet
In every season, in every heart.

Advent Prayer Phrase

Anticipation deepens within.

Invitation to Spiritual Practice

Spend a few moments dwelling in God’s presence. Pay attention to where your heart feels drawn into prayer. What words, images, or themes in this story lead you to reflect on your own faith journey? What is God’s invitation to you this day?

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