Light, Love and Peace

Sam Mugraby, CC via Wikimedia Commons

This week, both Jews and Christians celebrate their Holy Days of Light, Love and Peace. Candles will be lit, gifts exchanged and traditional foods shared. There will be prayers and readings from scriptures, as well as the observance of ancient rituals. Followers of both religions will hope for peace.

Peace seems such a distant concept these days, however. Those that strive to create it find pockets of peace in their lives and the lives of those they love, but their dreams, their hopes of peace world-wide face the gales of hate and greed. Still, they burn their candles, lighting the path they travel for themselves and those close by; they shield their candles from the treacherous winds that attempt to blow out their light. 

This image of candles and light, of love and peace being share is an ancient one.  Many legends, myths and stories use the imagery of a candle to interpret these qualities. One of my favorite quotes comes from T. H. White's, The Once and Future King, an Arthurian legend. At the end of the story, Arthur says to Tom, a young boy hoping to be a knight, " idea...was a sort of candle, like these ones here.  I have carried it for many years with a hand to shield it from the wind.  It has flickered often.  I am giving you the candle now -- you won't let it out?"

Many peacemakers have carried the candles of Light, Love and Peace through dark and seemingly hopeless times.  Some have been struck down on their journey.  But always, there have been others who have snatched up their candles, holding them high, protecting them from the winds that threaten and continuing to shed light on the path.

May we each in our own way, regardless of faith path, be like White's young Tom.  May we carefully hold our candles high, promising that, "It will burn." May the hope, the dream of Love, Light and Peace continue to bless us all.

Blessings to everyone on these Holy Days.


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