Three mages wandered through a dark desert in search of a Christ child, with only the light of a star to guide them.
At the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, the Jews lit the menorah with only enough oil to burn for a day. Miraculously, it burned for eight days, allowing the Maccabees to find more oil.
In the Celtic culture, the Yule log was lit, celebrating the return of sun.
Around the world, in every culture and faith, this season is celebrated as sacred.
I have spent the month of December in search of deeper meaning of this holiday season. The image that came early to me was light. The season of lights. Festival of lights. Return of the light.
Light has appeared to me in the form of candles, angels, a labyrinth, starlight, moonlight, Christmas trees and the inner light of people all around me.
Like the magi’s looking for the Christ child, it is easy to feel as though we too, are wandering through a dark desert these days. Standing witness to the suffering of families on the border of Mexico, countries being destroyed by their own governments, food insecurity, political insanity, natural disasters…..
Sometimes life feels dark. Sometimes we feel hopeless. We are misled into believing that the light is gone or at least can’t be seen in the dark.
There is light. It takes the form of young girls calling us to action for the environment. It is the single, selfless actions of regular people helping other people. It sparkles when one person honors the difference in another, celebrates their uniqueness and stands against prejudice. It shines when we vote to end oppression in any form.
It glimmers when men behave with honor and women know they are beautiful. It becomes a beacon of hope in the faces of emergency responders in a disaster. It is the spark that fans the flame of hope that anything is possible.
In whatever way you celebrate and honor this sacred season, I wish each and every one of you peace, joy and love.