The Hannukah and Christmas lights have begun to be lit. We humans are determined, persistent and tenacious: the darkness will not overcome the light. Well and good! But all the candles and lights in the world will not diminish the terrible effects of the Covid pandemic. Even as the promised vaccine is on its way, we continue to experience the darkness.
As for God, it is hard to say what the deity is doing. Some people assume the best. God, they say has been at work with the first responders; or God is at work on the vaccines; or God is walking with people through the craziness of the virus. I suppose all this sounds comforting and might be true. But I am not so assured.
I am puzzled how any kind of loving deity can watch almost 300,000 people in the USA and over a million throughout the world die and not be moved to act. And if there is a God who has decided free will and laws of nature are more important than any human life then I respectfully disagree. I refuse to make excuses for God. 3,000 people a day are dying in our country and all the lights in the world will not diminish the darkness, pain and graves created by those dying. I am not satisfied by theodicies and theologies, Jewish or Christian which think they can rescue the injustice of God from obvious guilt.
Having said my piece about God, I will light the candles and enjoy the lights. I will howl against the darkness and hurl my prayers at the silent sky and the leafless trees. Hannukah and Christmas belong to two communities who have continued, for millennia, to hope against hope, to yearn against yearning, to refuse to give up. They are two communities obsessed with remembering and waiting.
I say to you and to me, light the candles, bring the trees into your homes, sing the songs again and give the gifts. Repeat the old stories, tell the darkness where to go, refuse to give in. Perhaps this time God will hear the commotion and be moved to act. We shall see and then we shall know.