December 23 Advent Devotion – The Long Nights

Christmas Under Construction – Devotions for your Advent Season

Jeremiah 31:10-13

Yesterday is one of my favorite days in the calendar. It was the first day after the Winter Solstice.  We made it through the longest night of the year – and that is no small accomplishment.  From this point until the middle of the summer, the nights will be getting progressively shorter and the days getting progressively longer.  It isn’t a noticeable change.  In fact, it is fairly easy to miss the change, but I feel much better knowing the longer days are coming.  While the darkness and bleakness of winter is long and sometimes exhausting, there is the promise of better things to come.

The Winter Solstice reminds me of the promise that is held in these verses.  This passage was written to the nation of Judah facing   exile.  The situation is extremely bleak and their proverbial nights  are long.  There is a lot of suffering, without a lot of hope, but the prophet Jeremiah reminds them that God will be there for them, providing comfort and even gladness.  They will have the good life once again.  It must have been difficult for the people to believe  because of the direness of their circumstances.  But Jeremiah was confident that God stands by the promises.  When the situation seems bleakest, that is when God’s promises are most important for us to hear.  It was for Judah and it is for us as well.

No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, no matter how bleak or dark, we know God’s promises are for us as well.  Just as the nights will slowly be getting shorter, we are confident that good things are in store for us.  That is the promise of Christmas.  It is the promise in the midst of the darkness that better days are ahead.

Stephanie Arnold Workman