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The poet Kahlil Gibran writes of beauty that it is a ‘heart inflamed and a soul enchanted.’ Today we have been invited, through music and poetry, to a beauty that inflames our hearts and enchants our souls to the purpose of this season; a season of light, promise, and peace.

No matter our traditions, no matter our languages, we will recognize the presence of light in our midst. If we are a spiritual people, who proclaims there is more to our reality than what is merely seen and touched, we will hold out our hope in the power of light to overcome and comfort us against the pervasive forces of destruction in our world. We will be drawn to a light that unites us despite all that stubbornly threatens to divide us. We will be enchanted by the possibility of light to endure in our lives, and enflamed by the task we are given to live this light in acts of kindness, mercy and justice in the streets of our communities where human greed and selfishness darken the way.

That it is possible for us to be light for each other as we declare liberty to the captive and bring this good news to the oppressed, that this is possible is the promise we are given this season and conveyed to us in many ways. Advent prepares us for the promise born in human form bearing the name of Emmanuel, God with us. Hanukkah reminds us that our dedication and commitment reaches God to bring forth the miracle of light, even when our own resources are meek. Kwanzaa inspires us to know the promise of light embodied in the strength and wisdom of our traditions and culture. This is a season of promised visions and unexplainable courage; an angel before us, a miracle amidst us, and a wisdom to shape us. We resolve to witness to these mysteries through our boldness to live a radical servant life in a world that values prestige and privilege. Through our commitment to the light, we level the uneven grounds and make straight a pathway for our God and for our neighbor.

This season is a light that our eyes might see, a promise that our hearts shall trust, and a peace that will open us to each other. The combined light of this season’s festival candles illumines this peace that happens because of our shared humanity. In this togetherness, we learn a power stronger than any other and sustainable beyond rational understanding. It is a power expressed in a humility bending low in reverence to the mysteries and extending upward in praise for our common calling to live light for one another, for the assurance that this is possible, and for the all-surpassing peace that envelops us as we try.

Tonight is the night, now is the time for our hearts to be inflamed and our souls to be enchanted to the purpose of this season; a season of light, promise, and peace.