A thousand lesser lights.

Last time I posted an article on my blog, WordPress exclaimed, “You’ve published your 999th blog post!” or something like that, so I know that today will be my 1,000th post. I did some calculating, and that works out to an average of 2-3 per week over almost seven years. Sounds about right.

The milestone calls for some recognition, so I am hearkening back to the beginning, or actually to my first commentary on the beginning, when I marked one year of blogging and explained the name “Gladsome Lights.” At every Vespers we Orthodox sing a hymn that is more often translated, “O Joyous Light,” but when I first came into the Church our choir was using the word “gladsome.” I am putting that blog post up again, after this little intro.

If no one were reading my posts, would they be as satisfying? I think not. So I thank you all again for being an audience and sounding board and for cheering me on. I know that some of you read rarely or never tell me that you do, and I invite you at this historic moment to write me a line. If you don’t want to go through the bother of leaving a comment, I always welcome e-mails and my address is on the About page.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? It’s hard to believe I’ve composed a thousand posts, and harder to imagine that I would do that many more in the future, if I live that long. I’m not the same person who started blogging back then. But in church tonight we sang a refrain that spoke to me encouragingly of the main thing I need to know about the future:

O God, Thou art my Helper;
Thy mercy shall go before me.

cross border yellow[February 2010] Today marks a year that I have been blogging, and that seems like an opportunity to tell the origin of my blog’s name. I only now looked on Wikipedia for the vesperal hymn “O Gladsome Light,” which, when I hear or sing it, always imparts something of the reality of the Holy Trinity of which it tells. When I first thought of writing a blog, there was no other name that ever came to mind, even though I feared it might be presumptuous, to put it mildly, to take that title for my own.

But just as we Christians are to be “little Christs,” so I see that all the gifts I write about come from Him, and anything good that comes from me is a lesser light emanating from God. So I post a candle picture in thanks to Him. I like the little dot at the bottom, a lesser, mirrored light. My tiny candle, or reflection of a candle.

As we are reminded in the first chapter of James: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

O Gladsome Light of the holy glory
Of the Immortal, heavenly, holy, blessed Father,
O Jesus Christ….

19 thoughts on “A thousand lesser lights.

  1. I read every post and am always glad to see you’ve put one up. You share so much that is edifying, heartening and thought-provoking. Please keep on blogging!


  2. Hi, Gretchen. I just found your blog a few months ago, but I started following soon after. I’ve tried a few recipes, learned a little about the Orthodox Church and just generally enjoyed the quiet here. Congratulations on 1000 posts, and I hope you post 1000 more. I for one have something to learn from you.


  3. Congratulations on your one thousandth post! I for one can attest that the Light you share here has had an influence in my own life, by God’s grace. It does seem there are many little corners of blogdom where light shines through in such varied and lovely ways and touches others who in times past would never have had the pleasure of meeting.


  4. Gretchen, I so enjoyed your post today and to learn a little of how you began blogging and how your blog name came about. I so love the word ‘gladsome’ and it is so appropriate a name for your beautiful and peaceful blog. Let me add my congratulations on your 1000th post. It does feel a little funny to imagine creating as many again down the road. It seems such an undertaking, but thankfully posting is one day at a time, just as we’ve done it in the past.

    I’m wishing you a beautiful weekend and may you find peace and joy your doings.


  5. Congratulations on 1,000 posts! I look forward to many more. I think blogging/writing is a natural part of who you are. You have so much wisdom to share, and so many of us appreciate the life you share with us. 🙂


  6. Congratulations! Your vespers commentary reminds me of the Orthodox prayer we would sing as one of our family grace prayers. I think it’s a Serbian version of what you’ve described: “Now that we have come to the setting of the sun, and have seen the evening light, we praise God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; it is meet and right at all time to praise Thee with happy voices, O son of God and Giver of Life; Therefore the world doth glorify Thee.” A family favorite around here…


    1. What you have quoted is almost verbatim the second and third parts of the hymn as we sing it in our parish, of which I gave only the opening lines. It’s “the earliest known Christian hymn recorded outside of the Bible that is still in use today,” according to Wikipedia, in the Greek known as Phos Hilaron. Thank you!


  7. Congratulations, Gretchen Joanna! Do you know the John Michael Talbot hymn “Holy Ground”? Your post reminds me of this.


  8. Hi Gretchen, I thought of you today as we meandered through your county, and especially as we passed the park where I joined your family for a root-beer-tasting party so many years ago. I have loved reading your blog—and I read every post, which I cannot say about very many blogs! You miraculously maintain a balance between Down Here and Up There, of the hard and of the hopeful—and I always leave feeling better. Here’s to thousands more! With much love from Bethany.


  9. What a treasure your writings and you are to me! I count myself doubly blessed to glean your thoughts and wisdom here and also in person. Your respect of God, love for family and beauty, and honesty that fills your blog is a lovely spot in this world! Love you!


  10. WOW! So many blessings! One right after the other. This lightened my heart which had been a little weighed down by some cares of this world. Silly heart.
    Love, Christie


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