Music, & Readings
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called children of God.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
“For though my faith is not yours and your faith is not mine, if we are each free to light our own flame, together we can banish some of the darkness of the world.” ~ Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
"Such is the way of creation: First comes darkness, then light." ~Talmud, Shabbat
"One man’s candle is a light for many." ~Talmud, Shabbat
“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.” ~Desiderius Erasmus
“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” ~Ronald Reagan
“Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.” ~Lyndon B. Johnson
“For it isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
“I have found that those who do achieve peace never acquiesce to obstacles, especially those constructed of bigotry, intolerance, and inflexible tradition.” ~Benazir Bhutto
“You should feel beautiful and you should feel safe. What you surround yourself with should bring you peace of mind and peace of spirit.” ~Stacy London
“Peace brings with it so many positive emotions that it is worth aiming for in all circumstances.” ~Estella Eliot
“Peace cannot be kept by force. I can only be achieved by understanding.” ~ Albert Einstein
“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one.” ~ John Lennon
“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ~William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
"For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it." ~Amanda Gorman, 2017 US National Youth Poet Laureate
"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." ~Desmond Tutu
On Places In Need of Peace
We are blessed as we gather here today in this warm and comfortable place, taking a small break from our holiday shopping and decorating and celebrating, to focus our thoughts for a time on this light, the place far away from whence it came, and the spirit it represents. Though no doubt we all have obstacles and hardships in our lives, we are fortunate to go about them day to day in relative comfort and safety. However, today, as in biblical times, there are places in desperate need of peace in all corners of the world. Our thoughts may immediately stray to media images of places where bombs are being detonated and lives are being lost and where refugees huddle in uncertainty. Certainly, where there is war and terror, may there be peace. But also, where there is hunger, may there be peace. Where there is disease, may there be peace. Where there is corruption, may there be peace. Where there is economic distress, may there be peace. Where there is a racial divide, may there be peace. Where there is injustice, may there be peace. Where there is fear, may there be peace. May the light of peace shine in every dark corner of the world.
On People In Need of Peace
Friendly smiles greeted us this afternoon as we entered this place. Our voices have raised together in a song of nostalgia and hope. Soon we will share, person to person, a living flame representing peace and love, until the glow surrounds and embraces us. Though God brings the light of peace to our spirits, there are still troubled hearts everywhere. Even in this very room, there are troubled hearts. So we pray that the light of peace might calm hearts that are troubled by the storms in our lives. Peace to those who are lonely. Peace to those who are sick. Peace to those who are confused, depressed, or angry. Peace to hearts troubled by injustice. Peace to those grieving the loss of loved ones. Peace to those rattled by financial instability. Peace to minds darkened by fear. Peace to troubled hearts everywhere. May the light shine into every heart so that it may recognize and receive not only God’s peace, but His steady hand, His eternal wisdom, and His unconditional love.
Come, My Brother
by Demetrios Trifiatis, adapted for mulitple voices
All: You asked me the other day, my friend, who I am. I replied:
Voice 1: I am you in another body!
Voice 2: Yes, it is true, Look how much the same we are, no matter what Voice 3: The color
Voice 4: The creed
Voice 5: The race
Voice 6: The status
Voice 1: Look, I am born and die
Voice 2: Suffer and enjoy
Voice 3: Love and hate,
All: Just like you!
Male Adult: I am a father,
Male Voice 1: a brother,
Male Voice 2: a son,
Female Adult: A mother,
Female Voice 1: a sister,
Female Voice 2: a daughter,
All: Just Like you,
Voice 6: Happiness I seek,
Adult: Family to raise I wish,
Voice 1: Peace to find I look for,
All: Just like you
Voice 2: I yearn, I abhor
Voice 3: I fear, I hope
Voice 4: I bleed, I heal,
All: Just like you,
Voice 5: I believe, I doubt
Voice 6: I accept, I refuse
Voice 1: I laugh, I cry,
All: Just like you
Voice 2: We are alike
Voice 3: We are the same
Voice 4: We are siblings, children of a unique father Voice 5: Tell me, my brother,
Voice 6: My sister
Voice 1: My friend,
Voice 2: My ally,
Voice 3: Why have we: To oppose
Voice 4: To fight
Voice 5: To hurt
Voice 6: To destroy and
Voice 1: To eliminate one another?
Voice 2: Are really our seas that narrow?
Voice 3: Our oceans that small?
Voice 4: Our lands so limited
All: to contain all of us?
Voice 5: Or .......Is it the case
Voice 6: that Our hearts are not big enough
Voice 1: And Our minds not so wide-open
All: to Enfold all humankind?
Voice 2: Listen to me, my other self,
All: It is up to us to change this world we have inherited,
Voice 3: with its: Virtues and vices
Voice 4: History and culture
Voice 5: Flaws and merits
Voice 6: And try to make it Better
Voice 1: Nobler
Voice 2: Kinder
Voice 3: and more Caring
Voice 4: By: Obliterating harmful beliefs
Voice 5: Demolishing injurious divisions
Voice 6: Destroying detrimental distrust
Voice 1: Annihilating racism and
Voice 2: Eradicating the erroneous feeling of poisonous superiority
Voice 3: To Bring the dawn of a new loving world,
Voice 4: A world of acceptance
Voice 5: Of respect
Voice 6: Of justice
Voice 1: Of equality
Voice 2: Of love
Voice 3: And Of universal brotherhood, so as
All: With peace in our hearts, liberated we all will be.