One of the prime metaphors in the Friends lexicon is Light. I think of it in various terms: a source of universal, life-giving power; a solace in times of darkness and distress; a kind of reference for God or a luminous transcendence. In any case, it has been a meaningful expression for Friends all these years because it holds the essence of the Quaker effort to be present to the mystical divine manifest in light that in turn also grounds us in life-giving power of our every day earthly lives.
So the initial return of light during the winter solstice has special meaning for many of us, this time of turning, the promise of increased light and warmth and renewal of life all around us. Combined with the Christmas story of rebirth, of promise, of hope, we are offered an opportunity to pause a while, allow our souls to catch up with the memories of the past year, even as we look forward to the potentials of the coming year. Or, yes, it can also be a time of excitement around family reunions and travel and other activities that will consume much of our days this coming week. But the solstice season does provide the potential for blessed quiet and reflection, and my intention for myself and each of you that this may be part of your coming week as well.