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Winter solstice dreams

by davesandel on December 21st, 2021

Tuesday, December 21, 2021                                     (today’s lectionary)

Winter solstice dreams

Arise my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come! For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, and the song of the dove is heard in our land.

Under a sweeping winter solstice sunset, we drove through the Trail of Lights near downtown Austin last night. The 60 degree air was bright and clear. For three very slow wonderful miles the trees glistened with lights of every color. The nativity scene beckons us, as do the Twelve Days of Christmas, Where the Wild Things Are, fire trucks and ambulances, dinosaurs and Charlie Brown. Famous Texas grocer HEB sponsors the Trail, and everyone participates. Thousands of cars line up every night for two weeks.

Jasper is nearly thirty months old, and he reached a milestone last night. His car seat was turned around. He faced forward. His legs had plenty of room, and he saw what we saw when we saw it. In a car near us two kids stood up and watched the lights from their open moonroof, but Jasper’s vantage point was pretty good too.

We’ve been singing Christmas songs. Miles and I took a nap together and figured out the words to Joy to the World. Blippi’s Christmas songs put us to sleep. Gene Autry woke us up. Alexa listened to our every wish.

At least for yesterday, we lost touch with Advent and were caught up in Christmas. We ate Christmas candy and cookies, wrapped presents, gazed rapt at amazing lights, sang carols, and even found our way to a neighbor’s yard chock-full of lit inflatables with an accompanying soundtrack.

So by evening I was glad to settle down and sit for a few minutes with Joseph and Mary beside their evening campfire, halfway to Bethlehem. Mary is growing more uncomfortable and Joseph more nervous, though they both do their best to hide it from the other. Take no thought for the morrow, their son will later say. Today has enough trouble of its own.

Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come! O my dove in the clefts of the rock, let me see you, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and you are lovely.

The fire burns warm, but the sun has set and the fire begins to draw down. This is the shortest day of the year. Mary sings quietly, and Joseph joins her. O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie. Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by. They hear whispers from above them, and a choir joins their two voices, and all of us are breathless with surprise and joy. And in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light!

God’s little family curls up together under their blanket, slowly sleeping, listening to the warm, knowing how true this moment is.

The plan of the Lord stands forever, and the design of his heart through all generations. Our soul waits for the Lord, and in him our hearts rejoice.

For the moment they need neither close their eyes nor use their imagination to hear the angels sing. The rustling above them turns again to music.

And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Blessed are you who believed.

The angels whisper among themselves and marvel at their place in the plan. They spread their protection around Mary and Joseph and the almost-ready baby to be born. Above them the broad belt of our galaxy spreads brilliantly across the sky.

The hopes and fears of all the years, are met in thee tonight.

 (Song of Songs 2, Zephaniah 3, Psalm 33, Luke 1)

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