December 21 is the longest night of the year. For those for whom night-time means heightened loneliness or fear, this is the night most dreaded, the night when hope is most needed. We are surrounded in this season by the sounds and sights of joy — family gatherings, parties, and laughter. Some of it is real; some of it is forced and some of it is a cover-up for various kinds of pain and disappointment. Many of us are reminded by the very nature of the Christmas season, of those who are absent from our family circles — especially of those who have died, whether recently or some time ago. Also those from whom we are separated under various circumstances. Others are burdened by illness or disappointment or anxiety. Some are acutely aware of the chaos of our world. And so we come together to seek comfort and strength from each other and from God.
Service date changed to December 15.