07 December 2015

Chaplain's Corner - December begins the season of lights.
Chaplain's Corner
Chaplain Michael Jeffries
December begins the season of lights. People will start hanging lights on their houses; cities will put up lights along the streets to celebrate the holidays; businesses will put out special seasonal lights and decorations; the Jewish community will celebrate Hanukah by the lighting of the menorah; and Kwanzaa will be celebrated by the lighting of candles each representing aspects of the African culture. The season of lights begins this December, driving out the darkness and pointing towards hope.

One of my favorite things to do during Christmas is to drive around neighborhoods and see the lights. I love the enthusiasm with which many people decorate their homes. Some will do traditional Christmas scenes of Santa and reindeer, while others will venture into a more modern theme. I personally am partial to nativity scenes, which may not be a surprise to you being that I am a Chaplain. Last year, one of my neighbors had a nativity display set to music and you could tune your radio to his display of lights. We would always tune the radio to his house when we pulled into the neighborhood to hear what was playing and watch the lights in sync with the music. My neighbor will never know how much his lights cheered me, my family and many others. My hope is that the lights of the season bring you all joy as well, and point you towards hope.

The end of daylight savings time means that it begins getting dark by five o’clock. That means, by the time I leave work, it is usually dark; which can be a little depressing, because it seems like I have missed the day busy at work. Seeing the lights on my way home becomes a special part of my day to enjoy. It reminds me of the light of the world that entered creation so many years ago. Isaiah, the prophet, wrote, “Those who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” Light entered the world to help those like me, in darkness, to see the way home. I hope that in this season of light you are able to see the way home as well.

To all of you who love to hang up lights during this time of year, thank you. Thank you for lighting up my darkness and helping me see the way home. I hope I to can help shine forth a light to dispel someone else’s darkness so that they may see the way home, the way to hope. Remember that even the smallest of lights pushes back the darkness. For all of you who leave your lights up until February, thank you.

Thank you to all who came by the Chapel for the community dinner as well. We served over 350 people, and it was a great honor to have you as our guests, sharing your time with us. It is truly a treasure to share time together. Happy Holidays Fort Detrick, Chaplain Michael Jeffries
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