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How the Light Comes

The 21st December is the winter solstice, the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. For centuries it has been a special day for peoples and cultures worldwide.  As Christmas Day approaches perhaps we are settling inward, and at the same time looking outward,  awaiting the coming  of  Jesus among us – ‘Light for our lives and for the World’.

This poem was written by Jan Richardson a few years ago with Christmas in mind, as a Blessing for Christmas Day.  I think it may be just right too, to express our looking towards, and looking forward to the arrival of the Light at this Solstice time.

How the Light Comes
(A Blessing for Christmas Day)

I cannot tell you
how the light comes.

What I know
is that it is more ancient
than imagining.

That it travels
across an astounding expanse
to reach us.

That it loves
searching out
what is hidden
what is lost
what is forgotten
or in peril
or in pain.

That it has a fondness
for the body
for finding its way
toward flesh
for tracing the edges
of form
for shining forth
through the eye,
the hand,
the heart.

I cannot tell you
how the light comes,
but that it does.
That it will.
That it works its way
into the deepest dark
that enfolds you,
though it may seem
long ages in coming
or arrive in a shape
you did not foresee.

And so
may we this day
turn ourselves toward it.
May we lift our faces
to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies
to follow the arc it makes.
May we open
and open more
and open still

to the blessed light
that comes.

—Jan Richardson ©

As Jan  says:

“…a simple blessing and a prayer: that we may tell the story, that we may testify to the light, that the Word may take flesh in us this day and in all the days to come”.

Note:  This poem is an extract from a book by Jan Richardson – Through the Advent-Door: Entering A Contemplative Christmas – ebook


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