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"Don’t Let the Light Go Out . . ."

Dec 23, 2009 — Categories: ,

Jews have just completed celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And we all celebrate the passing of the winter solstice which assures us that, in the northern hemisphere, the days will surely get longer now.

Jews have just completed celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And we all celebrate the passing of the winter solstice which assures us that, in the northern hemisphere, the days will surely get longer now.

So the winter holidays lead us to remember the light, expect the light, renew the light in our world and in our hearts. In Peter Yarrow’s song, “Light One Candle,” he recalls the struggle of the Maccabees for freedom which is celebrated during Hanukkah:

“Don’t let the light go out; it’s lasted for so many years.
Don’t let the light go out; Let it shine through our love and our tears.”

In lighting the candles of the menorah for eight nights, Jews remember that lamp oil for one day lasted eight in the midst of the battle.

“What is the memory that’s valued so highly that we keep it alive in that flame?
What’s the commitment to those who have died when we cry that they’ve not died in vain?
We have come this far always believing that justice will somehow prevail.
This is the burden, this is the promise, this is why we will not fail.
Don’t let the light go out.”

In our work as people of faith to end sexual and domestic violence, these traditions within our faith communities encourage and sustain us.

So in this bleak midwinter, remember that it is up to you and to me to not let the light go out and to hold one another close. This is why we will not fail and justice will prevail.

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute

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