Christian Peacemaker Teams wish to celebrate this Advent season by offering reflections on the symbols of each Advent candle. Week to week, each of our teams will share a story in honor of the season.
For our final, Post-Advent reflection, we offer this story on the theme of the Christ Light.
Christ Light in al-Khalil
by Lisa Pires
The Light shines in the darkness, a light that darkness cannot quench
– John 1:5
He brings them out of darkness into light
– Quran 2:257
Christmas comes just after the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. Into this darkness the Christ Light comes, symbolizing the hopes of all humankind for peace, love and justice. The Christ Light is universal and inclusive, embracing all races, religions, nations and peoples: in fact, the entire Universe. It shines even when it is not perceptible to our finite senses, in the midst of horror, injustice, inequality, and all that is in the darkness.
In al-Khalil (Hebron), we CPTers experience this Christ Light in the warm smiles of the people we meet each day, even when they suffer humiliation and oppression.
We experience this Light in each child who goes through the checkpoint every morning, despite the constant fear of meeting the use of force and arrest on their way to school.
This Light shines in the faces of the shopkeepers in the marketplace as they perseveringly open their shops, knowing that they may not make even a shekel that day.
The organizations we walk with to transform oppression and violence shine with the Light of determination, courage and perseverance.
While at times we feel that the situation is hopeless, we carry on because the Light is still burning in our hearts.
“They tried to bury us, they did not know we are seeds.”*
This hope is our Christ Light.
* Originally adapted from a poem by Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos, this message has been transformed into a rallying cry among many activists.
Lisa Pires is from India. She is a member of the Presentation Sisters, a Catholic religious order. She was a full time member of CPT in Hebron, and while intending to serve for a minimum of three years, was denied entry into the country this September.