This week, at the invitation of my friend Doug, I attended a celebration of light, held in the sanctuary at a local hospital. It was a simple and beautiful ceremony, where people from several different spiritual traditions were invited to light their candles from the same source candle and then share a short piece about what light means in their tradition.
The Hindu person spoke about Diwali, the festival of lights, the Jewish person spoke about the lighting of the menorah, the Indigenous elder spoke about how they honour Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, and so on. After all of the candles were lit, they passed the light around the room to all of us, each of us lighting another person’s small taper candle. We stood together with our candles lit, singing John Lennon’s Imagine.
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
The richness of the simple ceremony left me with my own imagining.
Imagine the light
Imagine a circle of peace, each of us with different beliefs bearing light for each other.
Imagine Muslims standing with Christians, Jews standing with Hindus – all of us standing together to bear light for those who would rather spread darkness.
Imagine all light coming from the same Source, with none of us owning it but all of us taking responsibility for passing it on.
Imagine all of us working every day to dispel the darkness for others.
Imagine never protecting our own light, but passing it freely to others, believing that their light does not diminish our own.
In the Northern Hemisphere, we will soon celebrate Winter Solstice, when the earth begins to tilt the other direction again and the light returns. Whether or not you are in this hemisphere, I invite you to consider how you wish to welcome light back into your life during this season.
How do you open yourself to Source to receive the light? How do you choose to live as a light-bearer? How do you pass your light on to others? How do you receive the light that others pass to you?
Your light doesn’t have to light the whole world – it simply has to light the space three feet around you. Pass it on to the next person and see how quickly the room fills with light.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr