That being said, the oncoming storm brings with it a premature darkness.
We've been lighting Hanukkah candles each evening - mostly on Zoom with our Jewish community - reminding us of the dedication to the struggle for freedom and justice our Jewish ancestors have faithfully endured. Advent candles have been lighted each of the last four Sundays in church leading up to a candle light service planned for Christmas Eve in celebration of Light coming into the world in the person of Jesus.
There are numerous other faith traditions that celebrate light in some way at this time of year. It seems very old in the human psyche to want to move from darkness into light.
The prophet Isaiah wrote: "The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness - - on them has light shined. (Isaiah 9:2) Even taken out of its context, the line carries with it the yearning of humankind for light and clarity, for enlightenment, for a time when justice and equity and peace and lovingkindness will prevail.
2022, perhaps not too different from any other year, has witnessed its own peculiar darkness as the January 6 commission wraps up its work. The daily and weekly and monthly statistics on gun violence reveal a persistent darkness in our collective ability to create safe gun laws. Billions of dollars continue to funnel into manufacture of military weapons to be deployed in a war that seems endless in Ukraine. Peace is elusive.
The island witnessed the pervasive darkness of a broken immigration system when we unexpectedly found ourselves hosting migrants, lost and confused and afraid, who landed here, courtesy of the Florida governor.
We do still walk in darkness. But the faith traditions practiced by so many millions of people speak to the hope for the light - - the enlightenment - - that has given hope to the world for centuries.
We sing "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!" We sing "Don't let the light go out!" We sing "It is better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark." Like the Whos in Whoville transforming the Grinch, we are graced with the gifts of faith, determination, dedication, and with our small candles and our songs of light. So we keep on singing. The commitment to the work of justice and peacemaking, to compassion and lovingkindness, to cooperation and creativity receives a little more breathing room.
In this darkest month of the year there is so much light.