Sunday, December 20, 2009

Season of Light

As the days grow shorter, the wind gains its frigid bite and thick blankets of snow quarantine frenzied holiday preparations to overcrowded living rooms, many people of faith turn to light as the radiating balm of new hope and regeneration. We light menorahs and kinaras. We string garlands of light on pine trees. "Light has come into the world," we proclaim. And we must not forget that the light we invite into the world shines brighter on account of nature's ongoing dance with shadows.

In this season of illumination, we are called not only to welcome the light, but to embody it. Guru Nanak tells us: "Amongst all is the Light-You are that Light. By this Illumination, that Light is radiant within all" (SGGS 13). The light of God flickers deep within our souls, and this season demands that we kindle that spark through empathy, compassion and the great peace of a softly glowing flame.

When we live into this light, we learn to see the old shadows with new eyes. Universalist minister Hosea Ballou puts it this way: "The action of light in the natural world is not to create objects for us to see, but to manifest those objects of which we are ignorant, or which are hidden from us by reason of darkness." By moving into Love, we illumine the love that sits patiently, expectantly, within each and every heart. We participate in Emerson's "eternal revelation" and reaffirm our faith that "God is, not was; that he speaketh, not spake."

Peace is palpable. People emit quietude. Sitting next to a person with a quiet soul stills our wandering mind and centers our whole being. So too with tenderness. So too with attentiveness. So too with light.

May we take time this holiday season to offer ourselves to the Light. May we, as the Sri Guru Granth Sahib describes it, rejoice in the human "lamp-lit worship service" of life, celebrating those passing moments of unexpected grace that keep the candelabrum burning for yet another day.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

Print this post

1 comment:

t. curtis said...

This is a wonderful post, Erik!