Today marks the Winter Solstice--the shortest day of the year, and therefore the longest night. The Winter Solstice has a long history of pagan celebration, but it carries an even more powerful Christian message.
As the Winter Solstice marks the shortest day/longest night, it also marks the march toward Spring and Summer, times of abundant light and reduced darkness. The analogy is easy to make:
The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a Light dawned. Isaiah 9:2, quoted in Matthew 4:16.
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of life. John 8:12.
At the moment, the planet is angled away from the sun on its yearly journey. This is the season of darkness. But the celebration of the Winter Solstice reminds us that lighter--and better--days are ahead. In like manner, we are living in a sinful, dark world. But the Bible proclaims that the Light has come, and will come again! That is good news, indeed.
Of course, the analogy is not perfect. Our planet will continue to turn, and the Winter Solstice of 2023 will follow the coming spring, Sumer and fall. But those who follow Christ in faith will have His light regardless of the planetary position or the conditions of this world.
In the bleak midwinter, all creation groans
For a world in darkness, frozen like a stone.
Light is breaking
In a stable for a throne.