Considering Light in ourselves and others, around our communities, and in cultures and religions

Second grade students were the leaders of our all school Meeting for Worship prior to Lightwinter break. In class they have been looking at how light is used as a symbol in many of the world’s major religious and cultural holidays. In Meeting, they shared a bit of what they have learned and invited us to reflect on the below queries:

When was a time when you saw someone’s Inner Light Shine?

How well do we pay attention to one another? What can we do to be more attentive to our friends?

How can we practice listening to one another even beyond words?

If we work to honor the Light of others, can we grow the goodness of our community?

Here’s what they said:

Israel: The second grade has been looking at how light is used as a symbol in many of the world’s major religious and cultural holidays. We looked closely at six of these practices. We read books, took notes and learned from invited guests.

Hana: The Hindu holiday of Diwali celebrates the Indian New Year. People celebrate good overcoming evil by lighting rows of clay lamps called diyas.

Griffin: Next we studied the Spanish and Mexican holiday of Las Posadas. We noticed that people lined the streets with farolitas, or paper lanterns.

Ella: During the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, families light the menorah to remember the victory of the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight nights.

Jasper: Kwanza is a cultural holiday celebrated by African Americans. A kinara is lit for seven nights. Each candle represents one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Xavier: During the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset for an entire month. Instead, they spend their days in worship, praying in mosques. At the end of Ramadan, people celebrate with a festival and they line their houses with lights.

Ilaria: Quakers believe that every person has an Inner Light. They believe the Inner Light is that of God. The Inner Light can also represent goodness we carry inside ourselves.

Eric: For the last three weeks we watched and listened to each other for moments when we saw one another’s Light shine. We recorded these observations in our light journals.

Emma: We have been using queries for written and shared reflection during our study of Light. We wanted to share four of these queries with you for reflection during our open worship today.

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