My husband Peter is one of the few people I know who celebrates the winter solstice. He even found the moment of “minimum declination”—the exact time when we transition from having less and less light (in the Northern hemisphere) every day to more and more.
We celebrate returning to the light.
That celebration begins in our family with Christmas, but I just learned that there’s another season of the church calendar that also has something to do with light. The season of Lent, which will be here starting March 2, comes from an old English word that means lengthening, as in, the time of year when the days lengthen.
Lent is a time of somber self-examination. It’s a time in which we engage with suffering and hardship and grief and injustice. A time for lament and turning to God with our frail humanity and our very mortal selves.
But it is also a time of more and more light every day. It’s a time for turning towards the love and hope and goodness of God. Lent is an opportunity to turn toward the light.
**I’ve written a devotional to walk you through the season of Lent with daily Scripture verse(s) and reflection on themes like prayer, peace, suffering, and justice. Weekly questions correspond to that week’s theme and a selected Psalm. You can order it now for your own use or to use as a group, and you will have it in plenty of time for the beginning of Lent. PURCHASE ON AMAZON**
Learn more with Amy Julia:
- Lenten devotional—On the Way: Walking With Jesus Through the Season of Lent
- Lenten Reflections (video series)
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