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Giving gifts of inner light during holidays

By: Rev. Catherine Linesch
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Unitarian Universalists honor a wide variety of stories and celebrations, as we celebrate the hope and promise of the season. We pause with the rhythms of the earth, in the dark stillness. We rejoice that the solstice will come once again, and the daylight will increase. We celebrate the teachings and spirit of Jesus, and rededicate ourselves to bringing this spirit into the world, in service to humanity. We revel in stories and actions that speak of bringing more light into our world! At this time of year I like to take a time to gather with a circle of people to reflect. We ask the question: What wishes to be born with the coming light? I pass out little suns that have been cut out from shiny golden paper. We each hold one in our hand. We take a quiet time together to contemplate that which we would like to have grow in our lives, with the coming light. One woman responds: “I see each sense of security that is being peeled away as an invitation to step closer into relationship with others.” A man speaks forth: “May my invention bring pure water to all people.” Another: “May the challenges that I face help me understand the most important things in life.” As our voices commingle, we set our quiet courses to serve the inner light that is being born within and among us now. I leave with a star in my hand that holds my hope and prayer. I place this star inside the cabinet that holds spices and vitamins. I open it daily. The star always offers a delightful surprise. It reminds me to express my light and vision. This year I am giving stars to friends and family, with a little message to each person. One message reads, “Your passion for turtles and succulents is educational and inspiring. You are helping to keep them alive.” I write to a precious elder: “Thank you for your boundless goodwill.” To a friend: “Your gift of insight has helped me to see things in a way that I value.” I suggest that this star may be affixed to a place where it can be seen regularly, perhaps on the bathroom mirror. May it be a symbol of inner light, and the gifts we give one another each day. I invite you to pause for a moment, and to nurture and celebrate the light growing in your life. May we cherish our greatest gifts, and be renewed. You are invited to join us as at a Christmas Eve service for all ages, at 5 p.m. Dec. 24. You may also wish to join us as we celebrate the Winter Solstice at 10 a.m. on Dec. 21. For more info on services and programs, go to www. auburnareauu.org. Rev. Catherine Linesch is pastor of the Sierra Foothills Unitarian Universalists in Auburn.