Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

The Coming of the Dawn

'Church' photo (c) 2004, Vincent Lim Show Chen - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

[Editor's note: This Advent season, we will be running a series of reflections on the Bread Blog from the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The reading for this post is Luke 1:68-79. Keep reading Bread Blog for more Advent reflections.]  

By Laura Nelson   

Last year, I had the privilege of helping my internship site plan a "Longest Night" service—a worship service in the heart of winter that offers a contemplative space during the holiday season. Set for the night before Winter Solstice, it was a great project for me to take on—because I don't like darkness. And, in Oregon, the darkness was lasting for 16 hours each day. Planning the Longest Night service helped me to lean into the wisdom that dark times can teach us: the blessing of cocooned rest, the creativity born of chaos, the reminder that we are not in charge of the rhythm of life.

But we also leaned into G-d's promises of dawn, of life abundant and healing for all. We remembered that, with the coming of Winter Solstice, the darkness was receding—dawn was again coming in our midst. Zechariah's song of praise reminds us of this. He is fully in the light of the dawn, which is a great reminder in the midst of Advent, darkness, winter. Dawn is here, is coming, will come again.

What I most love about this hymn is that it's communal. Zechariah doesn't sing about his dawn, his redemption, his G-d. It's about our G-d, our dawn, our redemption. In our interconnectedness, the dawn of a new birth is a blessing for everyone. And, in the darkness, we have each other.

Laura Nelson is master of divinity senior at the San Francisco Theological Seminary.


« Why SNAP/Food Stamp Challenges Are Important Hope Beyond Wishes »


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Coming of the Dawn :

Stay Connected

Bread for the World