This Little Light
I’ve noticed on Facebook, Moravians putting up their Moravian stars—even though it’s not Advent. Unless you live in and around Bethlehem, PA or Winston-Salem, NC, I’m not sure if too many people recognize the star or would notice that ‘tis not the season for Advent stars.
In my anti-Traditional moods, I eschew the Moravian Star as something that has little meaning to anyone who is not Moravian. Moravians can recite the history of the geometry problem of a rhombicuboctahedron (maybe). The mythic symbolism we have affixed to the Star speaks to what we USED to do in terms of worldwide mission.
The Star is paradoxically the quintessential Moravian symbol. The star broadcasts a powerful statement of exuberant hope and resilient faith. The rest of the world just doesn’t know it, doesn’t recognize it, doesn’t understand it as we do. How covertly Moravian of us…to quietly hang our stars for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany and then quietly take them down.
In our first year in Sister Bay, I worked rather hard to get our star out and public. I underestimated (on many levels) winter in northeastern Wisconsin. I’m sure there are still pieces of star scattered in the woods around the house. In the process of picking up a broken star, I questioned just exactly to whom I was displaying the star. The church here is not situated on a major thoroughfare. Traffic in December on Old Stage Rd. is largely related to people coming to the church or going to the recycling drop off down the road.
So I stopped. How many stars needed to be senselessly slaughtered? The correct answer is, “As many as Doug Rights can make.” I have undervalued the importance of letting people know that the Light is still shining. Even if it just for me, for the SBMC, for the people going to the recycling center; proclaiming Light in darkness is a fundamental obligation for us.
Especially in these days, the Star may be a bold, quiet, courageous statement to the rest of the world. Light shines in the darkness. The darkness does not, will not and cannot overcome it. I can think of no better statement for the Church to make. I can think of no better way of spending an hour of my time this afternoon than to hang a star out in the front yard—even if it is destined to be swept away again.
If you don’t have a star to display, here are some other things to let people know that the Light is still shining:
Pray every day.
Take care of your neighbor.
If you’re able, give blood.
Wash your hands.
Follow the recommendations of local, state and national public health departments.
Call a friend. Call a stranger?
Take some food to the food pantry.