GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#92 — December 1, 2019

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.

— Mary Oliver

Greetings, Inspired Seekers!

We are coming to the end of another year through a month of spiritual celebrations. December holds us all in the loving and caring warmth of her wind-blown hands.

Christians are traveling through the Advent season of waiting, culminating in the celebration of the birth of Christ — Christmas. Buddhists hold Bodhi Day in reverence and Yule is the Celtic festival held and honored by the Earth Traditions. Hanukkah will fuel the lights of faith during the eight days of Jewish joy and all of us equally anticipate and set intentions for the New Year that stands ready at the gate of time.

Most faith traditions are centered around Light — either tangibly or metaphorically. And yet, as we approach the shortest day, darkness fills a great part of the earth. And it is through that darkness and the discontent that often accompanies it, that our faith deepens and our creative juices spring forth. Candlelight in the shadows creates the spark for contemplation and journeying inward — especially as the old year closes.

The pains and troubles of the past require us to review before we can release. Therefore, in the midst of the holiday lights, the darkness itself is a gift. A gift that requires courage to open. It is not an easy time for those whose suffering has been deep. And yet love, born of courage, is a great healer. Both love and courage help us to go through the pain instead of around it.

And so, dear friends, as we light the candles and revel in their glow, let us remember that the darkness is sacred. It is a place of holy calling, allowing us to sit and then, healed, enter into the courageous light of faith with deep, abiding love.

Celebrate all! Celebrate well! Celebrate the arrivals and departures, the light and the darkness — for all are holy!

Grace-Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Monthly Affirmation: I rest in the darkness and bask in the light of holiness, knowing both are sacred gifts!

The Reverend Dr. Deborah Darlington celebrates the sacred days of peoples of all beliefs. She can be reached at or at 215 260 1611.