This week, I started to work on a gift for a friend. My friend is Jewish and loves chocolate. Hanukkah is coming up. So, I am sending him a small gift for each of the 8 nights: a piece of chocolate and an inspirational quote from the Bible or a poem about light. For those of you who do not know about Hanukkah, here is the story –
A group of Jews called the Maccabees came together to celebrate their steadfast faith after years of oppression. However, their menorah had been stolen. They made a new lamp but they did not have enough oil to burn. Even though they could not refill the oil in the lamp, the lamp continued to burn for eight days. How could the light continue to burn without new fuel?
Light matters in many religions. Diwali is the Hindu celebration of light in November. Lamps are lit to proclaim that good has overcome evil. Light matters to those of the Muslim faith. Mohammad said that he saw light when he spoke with God. He said angels were made of light. Christians are anticipating Christmas and celebrate the light in the form of a star which guided people to the place of Jesus’ birth.
The image of light is important to us. For years, light was a popular metaphor for relief – as a period in time is waning, you can see the light at the end of a tunnel.
Light matters in many ways. Light means something is clear and able to be understood. Light means something is visible to us. One of our most heart-felt wishes is to be understood and to be seen. Light means even more to people of faith; it means God is with them.
It’s the end of 2016. Celebrate what we have achieved and experienced. If you are so inclined, have a piece of chocolate! There is something good in every year. Start to begin to consider how you will be in the light in 2017.
This is the third in a four part series of blogs using the words…hope, joy, light, peace.