Dear members and friends of Faith Action,
Aloha kākou. Greetings to all as we enter this holiday season, this season of “Holy Days.” This year, I have been particularly reminded that the holidays of Hanukkah and Christmas occur when the nights are the longest of the entire year.
In fact, Christmas was in the beginning celebrated on the night of the winter solstice, which, at the time the holiday was established, was thought to be December 25.
The calendar was later revised, and now we observe the solstice on December 21. But the Christian community kept the 25th as the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt in the 2nd century BCE. As we know, the festival centers around the lighting of candles on a candelabrum with nine branches, known as a menorah.
Both festivals celebrate the light that comes in the midst of darkness. Because of the coronavirus and everything else taking place in our nation and island community, we are facing the darkest of nights. In hope and expectation, we are waiting for the dawn to break.
We are thankful to belong to a community organization, Faith Action, which for us represents a light that shines in the darkness. As we have continued to work for justice and equity in our beloved Hawaii, we have done so in the hope that our efforts will make a difference.
It has not been an easy year for us, simply because we prefer to meet face to face in a way that serves to strengthen our relationships with one another. That is not always easy to do on Zoom. But we have done our best to further our mission and purpose.
May this season serve to fill us with the hope and peace, the love and joy that are so necessary for our struggle to do what is just and right. Let us continue to be that light in the darkness that will make a difference.
The blessings of this holy season be with you.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Neal MacPherson (Faith Action co-founder)