From the 17th to the 23rd of December a special sequence of invocations have been prayed, since at least the 5th Century. The one for today remembers the Israelites journey out of slavery in Egypt:
O Adonai, You appeared to Moses in the burning bush,
and gave him the Law on Sinai:
come and save us with an outstretched arm.
The word in Hebrew – Mitzraim – means “a narrow place”, so “going out from Egypt” can mean going from a place where we are stuck, to a wider place, a place where we are free. Many of us have felt stuck this year, so this ancient desire at this time, the darkest days of the year, reflects a deep longing to be freed, to see where we are trapped and to let go of what is dead in our lives.
You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
David Whyte, Sweet Darkness