Day 20 – The Day After the Longest Night – 2023

Day 20 – The Day After the Longest Night – 2023

“In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; you are the same, and your years will never end.” 

Hebrews 1:10-12

Read Hebrews 1:5-14 

Today is the day after the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. Nearly half of the previous 24 hours were spent in darkness. Today marks the beginning of increasingly longer days. 

Some churches hold Advent services called “The Longest Night” or “Blue Christmas” on the longest night of the year. These services are designed to be a comfort for those who are grieving during a time of the year that is typically marked with merriment and joy. The grief may be the death of a loved one or another loss. The services are generally somber, using candlelight and silence to set the frame for contemplative readings, music and prayers that invite participants to express their grief and focus on the promise of hope found in Christ. 

While at first glance the text does not seem to address grief, the undercurrent is there. In contrast with the eternal nature of God is the brevity of our life on earth. Hebrews 1:10-12 offers comfort for the grieving at Advent when we celebrate the birth of the one who was present from the founding of the world and who will remain long after all have perished. 

The text in Hebrews 1 harkens back to the anguished prayer of Psalm 102. Penned at a time when the psalmist is overwhelmed with the cares of the world, the prayer contrasts the brevity of human life with the enduring nature of God. Here, as in Hebrews 1, the eternal nature of God is a comfort to those who grieve. 

On this day after the longest night, though our souls may be troubled, and our hearts heavy with the weight of sorrow, may our grief be comforted, and may we find hope in the eternal one. 

Advent Devotions
Angela Turner, M.A., LMFT

Angela Turner, M.A., LMFT

Director of On-Site Counseling Center


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