It feels like night. Not the part of night where candles are lit in festivity or celebration. Where friends and family are enjoying some gathering.
It feels like the part where candles are lit in a desperate and breathless attempt to drive the pitch-black darkness away into the deeper shadows. The part where you are all alone and afraid, jumping at even the smallest sounds.
And it has felt like night for a long time-nearly an entire year. Tragedy, trauma, terror- these have felt like the theme words for this year- 2020.
No candles could pierce this night. Things that we feared have come out of the shadows- not sneaking out of their hiding place on tip-toes, but boldly strutting into the open. The worst of times. The worst of us.
There’s just a tad bit of hope that next year will be better. But it’s the hope where we peek through the fingers that are covering our tightly squeezed-shut eyes. Afraid to move our hands away from our faces.
It has been the longest night- where even the most faithful and hopeful of God’s people have stood silent, realizing all that is left is to wait for His deliverance.
Tonight, literally, is the longest night.
And tonight, for the first time in 800 years, we will see a rare sight in the sky. Some people are calling it the ‘Christmas Star,’ although it’s actually a conjunction- where two planets (Jupiter and Saturn) will appear so close together in the sky that they will appear, to the naked eye, as a “double planet.”
It’s science. I know it, and you know it. These planets have been moving in closer for months. It’s the way the earth turns.
But it’s also God. Our God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, has established times and seasons. He decided, long, long ago, that on the longest night of one of the darkest years in history, the world would need to be reminded of the great things He does.
He knew that at this point in history, where man seems to know everything, that we would need evidence that only He is in control. And, maybe, we all need to be reminded that He is not just the God Who came- He is also the God Who is coming again soon.
One day soon, all night will be over, and we will rejoice in the light of His never-ending day.
I hope I get to see the conjunction tonight. But if I don’t I still know that He is here. I can still cling to all of His greatness. I can remember that His power is limitless, His mercy and grace are overflowing, His love is everlasting. His promises never fail. And yes, glad morning will break sooner than we can imagine.