Showing posts from December, 2017

Once the Stable Is Empty

By Vuvueffino (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
Yesterday was such a lovely day...snow falling, peace-filled moments with my loved ones and joy-filled conversations. But...

Once our sacred celebrations are over, what happens?   When the stable is empty, the candles are burned down, or the fire is gone cold, what do we do? Do we simply return to our lives as before?  Or, do we take something from whatever practice we follow to begin anew in the new year?  Do we release the pain and sorrow of the past so that we might travel lightly and with strength into the future, believing that we ARE the change we have been waiting for all this time?  
The following was written by Rev. Howard Thurman.  I first posted this back in 2012, but I think it bears repeating. The message in this poem is universal and we need to consider it more today than ever before.

Work of Christmas Begins by Rev. Howard Thurman
"When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and pr…


(c) 2017 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
Yesterday, as we sat silently in an historic structure of a community that has held Christmas services since before this nation was a country, we lit candles from a flame that had traveled from hand to hand all the way from Bethlehem. As the tiny mote of light touched our candles in the darkened room, the light began to grow, until, by candlelight, we were able to sing from the hymnals, just as those who gathered here over three hundred years ago.
From one tiny spark was generated enough light to read the printed word!
The metaphor of the flame from Bethlehem was not lost on me. The Light of Love, symbolized by the candle's flame, also, increases each time we do something kind, something thoughtful, something just. I saw in the faces of those around me how the Light glowed from their hearts through their eyes. I prayed silently that this Light would never grow dim, that it would increase, just as our candlelight increased in the darkened room. I visua…

Solstice Blessings!

Photo: (c) 2017 L M R Neas
Winter Solstice will soon be here - the longest, darkest day of the year. Let us embrace this time of darkness. Let us use this day of nighttime to reflect on the year past. Let us look to the evergreens that surround us and remember that they hold the promise that spring will return. They also remind us that Life continues, always. Let us give sincere thanks for the bounty that sustains us as the Earth slowly warms again, allowing us to plant another harvest.  As the sun rises on the 21st, let us be ever grateful for the lengthening of days to come. 
May we all be blessed by both the Light and the Dark, which is a constant duality in our lives. May we learn to embrace both, finding respite and healing in the dark and rejuvenating, creative energy in the light. Many blessings to all as this Winter Solstice passes over us. 

What's Love Got to Do with It?

This is called the Season of Light and Love, but what does Love have to do with it?  How do we factor in love as a symbol of holidays that give witness to the duality of light and dark in the world.

For me, Love and Light go hand-in-hand. Think about it...don't you "light up" when you see someone you love?  Have you ever witnessed "love lights" in someone's eyes?  How often have you heard or read that falling in love was like having a fire burning inside?

With the feeling of love, comes the desire to give. If we think about gift-giving, which is a prominent tradition during this time of the year, love is a huge factor. We give gifts, symbols of our love and affection, to those we care about, those we hold close. We also give gifts as a sign of friendship. (Love is synonymous with charity, agape, and goodwill.)

In cultures around the world, gift-giving is an important part of keeping the peace, showing respect and gratitude as well as demonstrating your love fo…

Why Light?

December Super Moon (c) 2017 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
Light is an important symbol in all cultures. Whether it is the sun, the moon, a lighthouse, or a candle, images of light have been in our culture since humans first communicated. But, why?
For some, light was symbolic of Creator, for others, light represented understanding ("see the light").  The symbolism of light represents life, goodness, wisdom, purity, Divine Power, intuition, love and hope. Depending on your culture, you may have seen, read, or heard of light being used in one or more of these metaphors.
During the winter days ahead, you may light candles on a menorah, advent wreath or a kinara. You might dance around a bonfire or float candles on little boats down a river. You may even decorate your home with tiny lights. Whatever way you use light during this Season of Light and Love, think about the symbolism.  Why are you doing this?
May the lights we ignite during the darkening days ahead fill our lives with wisdom…