Friday, December 11, 2015

It's getting darker...

Every day these days dawn comes a little later and dusk a little sooner. Darkness falls, literally.

But not for too many more days--just before Christmas the Light expands--little by little, each day--until the Summer Solstice in far away June.

Light and Darkness are remarkable symbols as well as a reality. That Advent, in the Northern Hemisphere, comes at a time of gathering Darkness makes leaning toward the Light more powerful. And that Easter comes when Spring arrives is also a wondrous symbol. (I'm sure Christians in the Southern Hemisphere get it done--more of us there than in the north these days--but the symbolism is skewed.)

But this year the gathering Darkness is a metaphor for the political situation as well.

Fear is controlling a great number of people--fear of violence, fear of terrorism, fear of the unknown--seems to be driving the national conversation.

Here's what I think (even if you didn't ask me!) the opposite of Fear is not's Hope.

Courage can confront Fear, but usually violently and with loss of dignity and humanity and possibility.

Hope, on the other hand, obliterates Fear and Darkness by looking beyond them to something better, something more noble, something that gives dignity to human life.

Living in Hope looks like this: remaining rational in the face of nonsense; remaining resolute in the face of un-knowing; remaining calm in the face of hysteria; remaining compassionate in the face of anger; remaining welcoming in the face of division; remaining loving in the face of hate.

I choose to live in Hope, even in these dark days. I choose to live in hope in spite of the hopelessness around me. I choose to live in Hope and even Joy as the Darkness gathers. I simply choose to live in Hope.

That's the remarkable thing about facing Darkness--we still have a 'choice'. We are not dis-armed. We can 'choose' Hope and Joy.

Hope and Joy aren't things that 'happen', they are things we 'choose'.

Imagine the power and possibility in being able to 'choose'.

It is the thing that shows us our 'better selves'--this ability to 'choose' the Light in a time of Darkness, to choose Hope in a time of Fear.

Choose well, my friends. Choose well....

Shalom, jim

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.