Like our Celtic ancestors, we gather in the dark, in our greatest darkness to be present to the light–because this is how light is best known.


In the darkest night, we can know God’s love best.
Christmas II  | Luke 2:(1-7) 8-20

The Dark

Tonight we gather like our Celtic ancestors did long, long ago.

On the third day after the winter solstice, they’d gather for the first of four gatherings. They’d gather at dusk, return at night, then again at dawn, and then finally, the fourth time, in the daylight of what we know as Christmas Day.

After the longest night of the year, after praying and willing God to bring the light back to the world in the midst of increasing darkness, it was on the third day that their eyes began to notice the day grown longer: they could begin to see that the light was winning.

Like the resurrection is proof that the light can overcome the darkness of the crucifixion, we can see this same victory in creation, in the world, as our days grow longer.

And each time our ancestors gathered, they would tell a part of the story.

And the part they would tell first is not one we’re used to hearing on Christmas Eve. It’s the most unlikely of Christmas gospels. I read it at the earlier service: the Genealogy which begins Matthew’s gospel.

The full text and audio may be downloaded above or here.