Taking Down the Lights
"He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him."
Each year when it comes time to set out the lights for this season, a new ritual takes shape. New only because pieces of the ritual have changed or have grown. I have in years past begun this ritual even before Thanksgiving.
The ritual begins with a little bit of manual labor, and then moves into very light lifting, and lots of remembering. The memories flow, the images come alive – in color. Some bring deep, robust laughter. Some memories invoke the welling up of tears. When finished, the light is brought to life in my presence—a standing reminder of light triumphing over darkness. Despite winter’s short days, the light remains with us. It is in us. It is us. Even when it is dark, we are the light for each other.
This week brings another ritual. As they days begins to lengthen, it is time to put the lights away. The lights that will be placed back in their box, along with the ornaments, the treetop angel, the crèche and whatever else must return until next year brings them forth again.
Yet in this season of Epiphany, we celebrate that the light which emerges for us out of winter’s shadows each year does not really go back into a box, but rather shines renewed. And we are invited to continue to honor the light and share in the promise of a light never ending!
Holy One, your son’s birth brought new light into our world of darkness. A new covenant with your beloved. A light not to be hidden or ignored, but to be consumed into our very beings. Let us be light to each other. Amen