|Lessons from Candle Lighting |
This year Hanukkah and Advent both began on Sunday, November 28. While Thanksgiving pies were still being slivered away, we found ourselves in the midst of holiday rituals. Already.
Hanukkah comes with the slow, steady emergence of a fully lit Menorah over eight nights. Hanukkah includes stories of resilience and trust. We are reminded through ritual that ultimately there will be enough, even when all evidence might appear otherwise.
During the Season of Advent, we are offered lessons in preparation. Candles in many churches are lit for the four Sundays in Advent — one each for hope, faith, joy, and peace. Advent is a season to methodically ready our hearts for what is to come.
In both of these holiday rituals, one candle is lit at a time. Each candle is lit with intention and care. This lighting of the candles reminds us not to be afraid to give our time and attention to doing just one thing at a time. In doing just one thing at a time we just might get “the thing” done, and we just might actually enjoy doing that one thing.
True, we might get less done, or feel we are doing less. And doing less may be just what we need. If we give ourselves permission to focus on one thing at a time, we might see that much on our lists doesn’t actually need to be done now, or maybe ever. In the doing of the “one thing” with less urgency, we might learn something unexpected. With less tired eyes, we might see there is enough.
Whether lighting candles for the holiday rituals, or lighting candles on your kitchen table, or through the lighting of the chalice at service each Sunday, may each candle lit during these next weeks encourage us to slow down and try doing just one thing at a time.
For the many ways we celebrate, blessings,