Each of us is such a light.
Each of us has the power to chase away the darkness
-in ourselves, and in others.
And we are strongest when we help each other.
(adapted from Servant Candle, Judy Bressler)
The chalice, which we light every Sunday, and which some of you, perhaps, light at the start of your evening meal, is the most widespread symbol of Unitarian Universalism.
The roots and history of Unitarianism and Universalism are deep, traceable back to the impulses of unity and of universal salvation, as far back as early Christianity before orthodoxy set in. Yet, the chalice as symbol has been with us only seventy years (unless you consider the Husites in Czech Republic in the 14th century, but that is a
Chalice: beacon of hope (our theme for this month!).
Chalice: light in darkness, both literal and metaphorical.
Chalice: a vessel offering stability, that transformative power might touch our lives, spark our
imaginations, and ignite our courage.
At this time of year, perhaps even this: chalice as smaller symbol of that star of wonder, star of light from the Christian tradition: the star that watched over the birth of a child with a revolutionary destiny; the star that
encouraged the shepherds gather together and go seeking; the star that guided three wise ones on a long
journey and inspired them to defy a corrupt king.
Throughout world traditions, there are many lights in the many darknesses that come at this time of year.
Hanukkah is the story of light that should have lasted one night, but instead, and against all rational explanation, lasted eight. Solstice is a celebration of light returning, even though this is the darkest hour.
Whichever of these stories resonates with you, or a wholly other one (please tell me; I’d like to know!), may we be lights for each other when we most need it. May we be lights in the world, chasing away darkness that seeks to envelop others. May we invite in the light of others, when darkness comes to call in our own lives. May we remember we are strongest when we help each other.
I am blessed to be on this journey with you,