December – From the Minister

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
-W.H. Auden
September 1, 1939

The snow came just in time this year, just before Thanksgiving, to blanket our beleaguered world in quiet beauty for a time, softening the harsh, excruciating edges of November’s desperate news. It’s only weather- and in the midst of climate change, we can’t let ourselves be fooled by the cold loveliness snow.

But yet we welcome it, this snow, and in the turning of the season remember once again that still the Great Wheel turns, and some things, thankfully, are out of our clumsy control. The quiet darkness deepens now, and winter stars shine down, a gentle, ancient, and ferocious light.

Old stories and songs of tyrants and kings, and a baby born in poverty, undocumented and in peril, remind us that the work of hope is ancient indeed, and ours is not the first generation on this earth to wonder as we wander out under the sky. “Fear not, ” said the angel, speaking to shepherds but also to us. What peace we hope to know, this year or any other, will be borne of light- the light of truth, the light of love, light that shines from one soul to another, one candle to another, one promise of justice and mercy and hope to another, in dark and dangerous times.

The darkness deepens now, but even as winter officially begins, you know the light is already returning. Shine on, friends. Hope on, and rekindle your resolve in this warm and welcome house. Ours is no caravan of despair, and together we shine a mighty bright light.

-Rev. Victoria Safford