Rev. Virginia Jarocha Ernst

To be of the Earth is to know
the restlessness of being a seed
the darkness of being planted
the struggle toward the light
the pain of growth into the light
the joy of bursting and bearing fruit
the love of being food for someone
the scattering of your seeds
the decay of the seasons
the mystery of death
and the miracle of birth.
  ~ John Soos, Lifting Our Voices #7

December has a particularly poignant flavor. Something in its dark heart reminds us of our mortality. The end of another year, another trip around the sun has brought us here – still the same and different. How can we not be aware of all that has changed, grown and died in its own time in another year?

No wonder we have taken up the habit of candle lighting and singing old songs as the year winds down. We travel to be near loved ones, going home (wherever home is) to be close to the fire again. It is a migration toward something essential – the connections that sustain us and bind us back to our people.

This month of celebrations might be exhausting for people already worn out by worry for a hurting world. I wish for us all that it be recharging instead. Choose to go where you are filled up this season. May this return to what matters give us the energy for the journey ahead. May joy and love revive and sustain you in this lovely dark season!

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!

Rev. Virginia