A cheerful crowd came together at Christ Church and Temple Sholom’s Interfaith Celebration of Light last week, as both the Christmas Tree and the Menorah were lit to symbolize everlasting light.
“The meaning of God’s light is at the center of both Hanukkah and Christmas,” said the Rev. Dr. James Lemler, senior pastor at Christ Church. “We have these wonderful symbols as gifts of light.”
The group sang holiday songs serving both faiths and then moved inside to reconnect and share holiday snacks.
The yearly tradition, said Senior Rabbi Mitchell Hurvitz of Temple Sholom, is what religion is ultimately teaching.
“Each of us is created in God’s image,” said Hurvitz. “We each celebrate God in our own special, unique way. But we are all climbing God’s holy mountain together. It’s a good message—sharing God’s light as one community.”
Both faiths continue with similar messages of light through the darkness of winter.
“It’s different rituals, each utilizing light,” said Hurvitz. “The menorah is a symbol of light, and the servant candle, or the ‘shamash’ candle, and you share the light with other candles. It’s the darkest time of the year, but we’re going to make sure to bring God’s light in our world.”