Spirit of Life,
The beginning of the holiday season is filled with temptations to conspicuous consumptions, and pleas for generosity. The contrasts between the values represented by this time of year, and our ability to fulfill them, remind us how great the distance can be between aspirations and actions.
The month has begun with the observance of World AIDS Day, and Human Rights Day follows next week. They remind us of those at home and abroad who are imprisoned by disease, poverty, and discrimination. The messages of liberation, dignity, and joy that come with Hanukkah and with Christmas are hard to hear unless they are conveyed by gracious acts of outreach to those who suffer.
Our prayer this day, then, is that we may be gentle with ourselves and with others as we do our best to navigate through the tricky shoals of December.
May we avoid being so distracted with our own problems and duties this year that we forget the wider web of life of which we are a part.
May we go about our rounds of preparations and festivities with a light heart and with boundless patience.
May the dissatisfactions that are part of our lot be our companions, but not our masters, as we cross the holiday threshold.
And may all the joys of the season be ours, this time around.