A Light in the Darkness

Sermon by Dallas Bergen.

Chanukah Menorah

“In our present world, we are confronted with multiple crises that have converged–a public health crisis, an economic crisis, a long overdue reckoning on racial injustice, and a climate crisis. We have a lot we need to handle in the days ahead, but I know together we can get it done”
— Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris

The world, and every individual in it–each one of us–is bearing a lot right now. We have endured nine months of a global pandemic. We now lie in the darkest days of the year as traditions abound that prompt us to kindle joy in preparation for the turning of the year–the return of the light, and a coming spring. This Sunday Christians celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of ‘Joy’ in anticipation of Christmas, which is now palpably near. At the same time, Jews on Sunday night will celebrate Hanukkah and a great triumph against a struggle of insurmountable odds. Next week a super-event of astronomy will occur in a great conjunction of heavenly bodies, as Saturn and Jupiter kiss in the Solstice sky. In our present reality, we see the timeline to the end of this pandemic becoming ever clearer, as we await the widespread vaccination that will usher in a long awaited return to ‘normalcy’.

Wisdom, whether from sages, scholars, or scientists, can give us, both, a foundation of calm and acceptance in a moment, and hope for what lies ahead. In this season in which we are surrounded by darkness, let us listen to the wisdom that reminds us that each of us is a bearer and bringer of light–and when we combine the light of our many smaller lights, we create an illumination–one that can drive out darkness, and change the world.

Sunday’s service will feature Stan Yack, chanting the Hanukkah blessing; and Lucas Marchand and Alison Hanley sharing “The Peace Carol”.

Dallas Bergen
Director of Congregational Music

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