North of the equator today officially designates the shortest day and the beginning of winter. Here in Richmond we will have only 9 hours and 33 minutes of daylight. But the Son is coming back.
The first reading today is taken from the Song of Songs, the one book of the bible considered so racy by some segments of the Jewish tradition that no man under 30 should read it. It reminds how the word passion has changed meaning over time. Originally it referred to suffering; now it is associated with romance. What the two meanings have in common is longing.
Can we remember when we teenager and first fell in love and how it almost literally hurt to be separated from the one you loved? That pain is passion. When the of loosing the one you love hurts so much you can't stand it.
Today we read the Song of Songs because Christians have seen in this book not just the story of a man and woman, or married love, but the story of the longing in every human heart for God, the relationship of the soul to God.
One of the challenges of this season is the false expectation of joy, a joy we all think we are suppose to feel, but don't. Don't worry about it, It only means you are human. The truth is: Only in union with divine can our true passion be satisfied.
In Christ was the perfect union of divinity and humanity, and only in eternal life will we know that perfect union with God, and the true joy of Christmas. 'Til then enjoy the glimpse, the taste that we get in this life, and feel the passion for more.