Each one of us can’t help but notice the daily reduction of our daylight hours in this season of the year. Some of us keenly feel the lack of light, and await its slow return after December 21. “Light” is an important part of our language and cultural theology, such as seeing a light when we are dying. The Quakers, or Religious Society of Friends, often use the phrase and practice of “holding someone in the light” in the way other traditions might pray for a person.
There are many things that the sun provides us: light to see, warmth, an order to our days, essential elements of life…. Just as important, can be the blessings of the Dark to the order of our days: a time for rest and nurture, a time to grow and be quiet.
In this holiday season, let us consider the role of both the “light” and the “dark” in our faith development explorations. Let’s be mindful of the role they play in all the holidays of the season: in candles, decorations, and metaphors. Would the little lights be as stunning if it weren’t for the dynamic of dark?
What does “light” symbolize or capture in your spiritual life? How about the “dark?”
Resources to consider:
–“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ―Martin Luther King Jr.
-“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien
– “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” ― Leonard Cohen
-“Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy–all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel
Music: “Lover of the Light” by Mumford & Sons “What Light” by Wilco
TED talk- “Why Light Needs Darkness” Rogier van der Heide