December 19

Reflections by Demi McCoy & Travis Woodfield,
Students at Wake Forest University School of Divinity

'Tis the Season

By Demi S. McCoy


’Tis the season
To deck the halls
With love everlasting and justice for all.

‘Tis the season
To spring into action
Comforting souls with warmth and compassion.

’Tis the season
To redeem the soil
Of a wounded land, abused for oil.

’Tis the season
To fight for what’s sacred
Protecting creation and leaving no stone forsaken.

’Tis the season
To promote better business
To remove conflict diamonds from innocent wish lists.

’Tis the season
To reevaluate labor
Knowing profit should never come at the expense of a neighbor.

’Tis the season
To stand above the bottom line
To challenge the status quo of reward through dollar signs.

’Tis the season
To hold political powers accountable
For war violence seemingly insurmountable.

’Tis the season
To see humanity in true and living color
With apparels and hues different from one another.

’Tis the season
To openly carry your heart
Recognizing that concealed hate tears people apart.

’Tis the season
To protect and serve
Treating every individual with the inalienable respect they deserve.

’Tis the season
To share the yuletide treasure
Joining hands across social classes and societal measure.

’Tis the season
To listen to every voice
Regardless of gender, creed and romantic choice.

’Tis the season
To be considerate and kind
To keep equity and hospitality at the forefront of your mind.

’Tis the season
To make way for a child to be born
To heal a world severely worn and torn.

’Tis the season
To deck the halls
With love everlasting and justice for all.


The Patient Light

by Travis Woodfield

He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
— 1 Samuel 2:8 (NRSV)

          In Syria, Allepo burns.  It, I have to admit, seems foreign and far away.  The United States has not seen a significant battle on its territory since The Civil War.  It can be easy to forget that people are dying, suffering, and have lost everything, right down to a roof over their heads.  More significantly, it is easy to forget that war, violence, and misery are part of the world, generally speaking.  The world, it seems, is a dark place.

          I remember attending an Easter Vigil service while I was an undergraduate where 2,000 or so people were gathered in a gymnasium.  The service followed usual traditions including the lighting of the Easter candle.  The first reading was, “Let there be light,” from Genesis.  The lights were turned out completely so that only the Easter candle was lit and faces were lit around the room by the candlelight.  It was an astonishing amount of light from one candle.  One of my classmates who was blind read, “Let there be light,” from a braille Bible. 

          Today’s reading from 1 Samuel reminds us that because the light of the Easter candle is on our faces, because we hear the call for light, we are called to recognize the places where light needs to be shed.  We are asked to shed that light in the way we know best, using our gifts.  Engaging in the world demands creative understanding of who the poor are and listening to what their ash heap is.  Working toward peace is found in this work. Patience is the watchword; much like this season of Advent, patience will be the beginning of God’s incarnation. The patient light that is God’s incarnate people will shine in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.  

About Demi

Demi McCoy, also known as “Demi Day,” is a spoken word minister and hip-hop artist from the Washington, DC area. She is a third-year student and Hyde Fellow at Wake Forest University School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, NC and holds a bachelor’s degree in religion from Pepperdine University. Her passionate talent has led her to minister at various churches, conferences, and events across the nation. Most of her work focuses on community and social justice as it relates to race, gender, and sexuality.

About Travis

G. Travis Woodfield is a second-year student and Carpenter Fellow at Wake Forest University School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, NC.  He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville and a master’s degree from St. Bonaventure University. His ministry interests involve hospital and college chaplaincy, especially around mental health.  In his free time he enjoys playing guitar and chess, and is an amateur magician.  

About Wake Forest University School of Divinity

Located in Winston-Salem, North Carlonia, Wake Forest School of Divinity takes seriously the call to educate leaders who can respond to issues of faith, service, and social justice.  The school takes seriously the reality of today's global context and seeks to mirror that diversity within the student body and its programs. WFU School of Divinity offers an ecumenical environment where students and faculty engage contemporary religious life with intentionality. 

Wake Forest University School of Divinity is recognized as one of the Seminaries that Change the World: Class of 2016-17. To learn more, visit their website at or view their Seminaries that Change the World profile.