Light at the Window So we do not lose heart. – 2 Corinthians 4:16a (NRSVue) MARTHA SPONG | Not long after the 2016 election, my wife and I were out shopping for Christmas lights to be a hedge against the gloom we felt. We passed a faux birch tree with teeny lights, a tabletop tree about three feet high, and on a whim we bought it. Its light has been part of our domestic landscape ever since, sitting on a wide windowsill in our kitchen, visible to anyone who walks by our house. That shopping trip feels like a very long time ago. In our personal lives, many things have happened since then: a surgery for me, a son’s wedding, a puppy, the end of a job, a pan- demic that saw two adult children home with us for a time, the birth of a grandchild, our daughter’s wedding, and our youngest growing from big boy to young man topping six feet. The tree has been lit in our kitchen through all of it. It has been tempting, so many times, to say, “This is the worst things have ever been,” to sink into the bleakness of terrible things happening in the world and in our country. Yet I am holding on to the words of the prison-industrial complex abolitionist Mariame Kaba, “Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair.” I did not expect an impulse purchase to stay at my window for so many years. Surely some change would mark the end of that phase of our lives! Yet it remains to serve as a reminder of the needs we did not see, of the work that remains to do, of the ways to be of service, of the call we answer from God. It remains so we do not lose heart. PRAYER Holy Light, keep shining. Amen.

About the Writer:
MARTHA SPONG is a UCC pastor, clergy coach, and editor of The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms for the Struggle.

Source: “What’s Left of the Night?” | 2022 Advent-Christmastide Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.