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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Lenten light

"Indeed, you are my lamp, O Lord, the Lord lightens my darkness" (2 Samuel 22:29).

Spring is coming, but I can't help but appreciate Dr. Seuss' commentary on the dark season that began Dec. 21: "How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?"

That first day of winter is more likely to pass unnoticed than the first day of spring. In December we were immersed in planning or already enjoying Christmas festivities. We probably associated winter's beginning with holiday nostalgia. We likely were thinking of snow as fluffy, picturesque and conducive to celebration, not as yellowed or dirt-tinged. In the Northern Hemisphere we celebrate the coming of God's Son only days after the year's deepest darkness has settled in.

cory morse<BR><BR>During Lent, God
During Lent, God calls us with gradually awakening light, says Donna Huisjen, a Michigan author who has known her share of late-winter darkness.

Easter, on the other hand, arrives on the heels of spring, when dawn arrives earlier each day and the natural world is beginning to respond to the nudges of warmth and light.

Darkness is hard on people. For many in cold, bleak climates, depression settles in during long months with a dearth of light. Where I live near Grand Rapids, Mich., it isn't uncommon for us to move through weeks seeing only the barest fraction of "possible sunlight." Our spirits are noticeably lifted on those rare crisp and cloudless days.

As the single adoptive mother of three special needs daughters, now grown, I've known my share of late-winter darkness.


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