While there is much speculation as to the meaning behind this neolithic construction which predates the pyramids of Egypt or Stonehenge in England, for us today it is a sign, a symbol of the turning of the year as today we mark the moment of movement away from the darkness of winter towards the daylight of summer.
It is the first time since 2007 (Irish Independent) that the weather has co-operated and the chamber been illuminated. If you were of a superstitious turn of mind perhaps we could take it as a sign that 2014 is going to be a better year for Ireland as 2007 was the year before the economic crash!
While some would say what has Newgrange got to do with Christianity, perhaps it is a reminder to us all of the in built need of humanity to acknowledge and respect the Divine around us all the time.
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
The sun shall no longer be
your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon
give light to you by night;
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun shall no more go down,
or your moon withdraw itself;
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of mourning shall be ended.
Your people shall all be righteous;
they shall possess the land for ever.
They are the shoot that I planted, the work of my hands,
so that I might be glorified.
(cf Isaiah 60: 1-5, 19-21 NRSV)
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard. (Isaiah 58:6-8, NRSV)