Sunday, December 09, 2007

Lighting the Way

I have a special fondness for Saint Lucia. I know that according to the canonical calendar, her feast day is December 13, but the old tradition places her on Solstice. She lights the way through the world's midnight to bring us into spring.

Advent candles are something I have less affinity for, more because I am unfamiliar with them than anything else. They are a new-fangled event in the Methodist world, brought in to appeal to folks more familiar with other sects and a heavier dose of ritual than I was brought up with. However, light is light. When we were asked to light the advent candle this week, I didn't pass on the opportunity to bring some light into the world. I never miss a chance to think of Saint Lucy.

Some folks are probably irked to find pagan ritual, symbol, and tradition in Christian traditions. It never bothers me a bit. In fact, it speaks to me of some of the basics of my faith: God made everything. Because God made everything, I like to try to represent everything in my celebrations of the life God has given to me. That certainly includes Christmas. Christmas at my house just bursts with the world God has gifted us, no strings attached. You don't even have to believe in Him. Here it is. Enjoy.

So the connection with Saint Lucia to pagan ideas of Brigit, to the Solstice, to traditions of light far older than the Christ, doesn't bother me one wit. God made them, too. Besides, God made me on Solstice, too.

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