|So much for sleeping. My thoughts flit disturbingly among heavy feelings of fault. Actions and words recent and far past that I cannot change or take back. Stuck. Darkness within and without. No sense waiting for another alarm. Get up and go seek.|
Light one candle for the strength that we need
To never become our own foe
The lyrics from Peter Yarrow ring true. I am grateful for Valerie’s teaching about light and darkness, culminating in Light One Candle on the last night of Hanukkah. Because reading the scriptures for the last day of the year was not enough to get me unstuck.
I contemplate the power of words. To build up or destroy. In our heads. From our own mouths. In our ears. On the page. I hear the exhortation of the Psalm to praise, declare, and share the news of God’s saving work every single day. Because today we need it.
Valerie touched on the variations of darkness we experience. Disease and death. Violence and destruction. Spiritual oppression. Politics and economics. Despair and depression. And our own sin. We know it too well.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light. John 1:5 (CEB)
Hope in the light. In the beginning. And at the closing of a year. Perhaps we reflect on 2019 and are relieved to have it end. Perhaps we look back and see the many points of light. The candles lit. Kind words. Giving. Someone who took our hand. When we felt the light shining through us. A menorah in the window.
Light one candle for all we believe in
That anger not tear us apart
And light one candle to find us together
With peace as the song in our hearts
Tonight people will gather. And some will feel alone. Even, especially, in a crowd. We will be surrounded by darkness. And we may feel it inside. Though Advent and Hanukkah are concluded, perhaps we should light a candle again. And hold it for each other.
Don’t let the light go out!
Let it shine through our hope and our tears.
May we recognize the true light that shines on all people, welcome him, and believe. That we might become God’s children. Welcomed by grace into truth. Glimpsing the glory of the One who has made God known. And letting that light us from within, shining brightly in the darkness.
Order of Service: 12/29
Sermon: The Light of the World