I don't know about you, but the benefit of that extra hour of sleep from the change to daylight savings time dissipates after only a couple of days. Waking up that first day thoroughly rested feels so good! (Maybe I need to start getting to bed earlier!)
But, here we are with darkness coming that much sooner in the day, lasting that much longer, and we realize we need to wait for the winter solstice before things begin to change again.
In the first Creation story in Genesis, God created light and darkness, putting parameters around the first day. The sun, moon, and stars didn't come along until day four. This helped Israel distinguish itself from their captors, the Babylonians, who worshipped the sun, moon, and stars instead of the Creator.
We tend to favor the light and look down on the darkness, but is there goodness to be found in the dark? St. John of the Cross would say "yes!" He was responsible for coining the phrase "The Dark Night of the Soul." Formation happens in the dark. It means a period of waiting and a sense of perhaps being pressed down or alone, but in the quiet moments, growth is occurring. It will become evident when we experience light again.
And as we look towards Advent, which is right around the corner (!), we realize the Christ-child (like all babies) was formed in the darkness of a womb. It was sacred space.
So, as we wait for the next change in season and for the days to begin to get longer again, may we find joy in the darkness knowing the Spirit is at work, perhaps by moonlight, but still at work, bringing us into the fullness of God.
Rev. Dr. Jennifer Bales
Presbytery of San Jose