This prayer was originally given at the First UU congregation of Brooklyn for our annual Winter Festival of Peace and Lights service on 12/18/11.
Spirit of Hope, God of Grace, Source of What Might Be, We remember the miracle of the festival of lights this morning, We hear the story of enduring in the dark, of a time when brute power sought to rule in the face of a people of faith. May we learn that we too can last, that we too can find light and possibility from the remnants of the oil we carry in our hardest times. That when exhausted, or dispirited, or just plain down, we come to know that within ourselves, within our souls, is a place of potential, a spot of warmth and hope and permanence.
Like the heroes of the story of Hanukkah, teach us to find comfort in one another, to know that sometimes the world throws too much at us to ever do it alone. And in that time, help us to learn that there is no need to do it alone. May this holiday remind us that we can let go of the doing, and the struggle, and the fighting. That there comes a time when we can rest, we can breathe, we can be with the people around us, and find all the fire in the world we need to kindle our souls and enliven our spirits.
Spirit of compassion remind us of the story of the temple. When we find the alien statue of Zeus in our Holy of Holies, May we find a way not to goto war. For all the country is ruined for it.Whether the statue be of a God foreign to us, or an idea we simply don’t agree with, a tradition held so dear, or a style or culture or orientation that differs from our own.
Teach us to brighten our candles without sharpening our swords. For every struggle need not be glorified in battle, every disagreement need not be held to the bitter end, and our differing faiths can find a common home, as they have in our own chapel.