The Light of Life

by Stephen Longfellow Fiske


As we enter the holiday season, which some call the “Holy Day Season,” Christians commemorate “advent” leading toward Christmas. Jews celebrate Hanukkah, and the world African community celebrates Kwanzaa. We also pass through the solstice which is December 21.

Advent comes from the Latin word “adventus” which means “coming” or “visit.” For Christians, it is a season in preparation for Christmas or the birth (coming of Christ).

In Judaism, Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated for eight days and nights and commemorates the re-dedication of the holy temple in Jerusalem (the second temple) during the Maccabean Revolt in the second century B.C. The menorah is lit each day, commemorating the miracle “of just enough oil to last the duration of the eight days.”

Kwanzaa was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 and relates to celebrating the first harvest as well as honoring community building and unity; celebrating family, historical heritage and culture; and reverence for the creator.

The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year and the turn of winter into the new year and the coming of longer days. The longer light celebrates the resurgence of the Divine within and without.

In all these celebrations, the common denominator is a reaching for faith and our integral connectedness with light. Light represents transparency, purity, honesty, openness of character, fearlessness, healing, joy and uplifting spirit. Light brings growth and blossoming in nature as well as within the individual.

Light is a universal representation in all religions and faiths of the Divine presence and of life itself. Light illumines the interior teacher, the inherent wisdom within, and the light of the soul.

Whatever our beliefs, may we all come together in the light of life and joy in this holiday and solstice season. May the light of peace shine ever brightly in this coming new year.

Come Into My House, O Light

By Stephen Longfellow Fiske

Come into my house, O light
Capture, cleanse and call
Call me to thy clearing
Shed me of my shawl
Shed me of this moment’s ceiling
Come to me, O soaring felling
Steal me to you center
Center me in luminescence
Cast me to your stream
Show the way through deepest darkness
Seal me in your beam
Shine in me your revelation
Awaken one and all
Come light of illumination
Capture, cleanse and call