Reflections: December 2017

It is the irrational season When love blooms bright and wild Had Mary been filled with reason There’d have been no room for the child. – Madeleine L’Engle

I invite you, my friends, to enter this irrational season of love and hope, and even whimsy, with open arms and warmest joy. I know it is often hard for Unitarian Universalists to intentionally choose irrationality. But let’s face it. Not a one of us is rational all of the time, and that is a good thing.

While in schools today there is a great push for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education, (yes, proficiency in those subjects is important), when they sideline education in the arts and humanities, I need to protest. Through the sciences we seek the how of life. It is through the arts that we seek its meaning. The arts are about the soul, and in these, the darkest days of the year, the human spirit craves the arts- light, dance, music, color, song, and flavor. There is a reason why we eat special foods that speak of warmth, love and comfort in these days, play music that lifts the spirit, sing songs of hope and joy, and decorate our homes in smells and colors that please our senses. These are the things that feed the soul.

The outer world may look hard and feel cold, but we know that the inner world is warm and tender, growing, like the seed in the earth clod, the child in the womb. We don’t need to see it, to believe that it is there; life, hidden, but persistent and resilient, on the edge of breaking through. And our job is to be the carriers of the tales of hope and promise, making sure that they are told.

While you may be struggling to believe that one day’s worth of oil burned miraculously for eight when the Maccabees recaptured the temple, or that Mary conceived immaculately, you can still believe that the telling of these stories has changed people’s lives, reminding us that the infinite power of the right and the good can be hidden in the small and the weak.

Whether you celebrate primarily Chanukah, the Solstice, or Christmas Eve, the holidays are a festival of the arts, celebrating the joy and wonder of being human and alive, even when it is hard, even when it makes no sense. Come and make a joyful noise with us. The more the merrier!

With love and warmest blessings, Rev. Anita