Here we are on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, the day when the sun - nature's source of light - is the farthest to the south. We who have access to switches for light cannot possibly understand the impact of darkness settling in for such a long time...but then again, we certainly know the metaphorical impact of darkness.
In the Boyne Valley, County Meath Ireland, there is a Stone Age passage tomb built 5,200 years ago which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. (left picture above) The passage and chamber at Newgrange are aligned with the rising sun on the morning of the Winter Solstice. In a public lottery every year, people can win the chance to settle into the passage tomb in the dark and watch the rising sun shine straight through the tomb.(pictures center and right)
The ability to create such a structure 5,200 years ago baffles me. As Mary said, how can it be? But then God does so many things that are baffling. The only other words that come to mind are from the Gospel of John...
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God;
all things were made through him,
and without him was not anything made that was made.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Prayers this day that we might all see what little light we see today as the Light of Christ piercing the darkness of our world, and by that Light may we see Love and be Love. Amen.