Each year I journey through Advent with the same devotional. It’s called "Night Visions: Searching the Shadows for Advent and Christmas" written by United Methodist Jan L. Richardson. It prepares me for the journey reminding me to seek out the sacred in the places of deep darkness and great light. The most meaningful for me has always been a reflection called "The Festival of Lights."

“In the years to come I will learn how necessary it is to keep dancing, how celebration is not a luxury but a staple of life, how in the grimmest moments I will need to take myself down to the closest festival at hand. I will go not to drown my sorrow or to mask my despair or to ignore the real suffering of the world or of my own self. I will go to beat out the message with my feet that in the darkness we are dancing, and while we are weeping we are dancing, and our legs are aching but we are dancing. And under the night sky we are dancing; lighting a match to the shadows, we are dancing; starting to sing when they have stopped the music, we are dancing; sending shock waves with our feet to the other side of the world, we are dancing still." – Jan L. Richardson

These last few months Richardson’s reminder to seek out the moments of joy even in the midst of the weeping have been life-giving for me. A reminder of the importance of reclaiming celebration as an act of holy resistance in the midst of an ever more broken and hurting world.

Perhaps you have needed a reminder too. Perhaps it was the actions of the 2016 General Conference or the recent U.S. and local elections that threatened to extinguish your light. In moments like that I remind myself of the great honor I have of dancing with each of you.