My Dear Friends!
The story of Christmas is the story that changed the world, and as many of us celebrate that story, we reflect on what meaning it has for our lives today. We reflect on how we could change the world, or maybe I should say, change our own world, the world in which we live every day!
I hope to inspire you to an awareness of how you can become the Christmas story every day of your life, expressing greater love, peace and joy.
The Christmas story is a beautiful story. It represents the birth of our Awareness that the Christ Presence expresses itself in human form, and, like Jesus, we are each called to grow into our Christhood to find our way home to God and to our oneness with one another.
Yes, the Christmas story is the story of a holy night. It is a deeply personal story about you. It is a story that reminds us that God hasn’t given up on the world, for there is the Christ that can be birthed in you, as you recall the real meaning of Christmas.
You remember! The story begins with The Angel Gabriel. The angel was sent by God to speak a message to a young woman named Mary. The angel said something like this to Mary’s heart: “I am the Angel Gabriel, and I represent the Divine Thoughts of God. Do not be afraid! You have found favor with God. You will have a son, and you will call him Jesus!”
When you are quiet, you too will hear messages from God that speaks to your heart. You see, that’s what angels do. They speak the message that you need to hear. But you must be still to hear. Have you given thought as to where in your day you might make the time to be still and hear that voice within you? “Be Still and Know that I Am God.”
We are told that Mary who lived in Nazareth was a young, pure woman who would soon be married to Joseph. She was likely about 14 years old. Being that she was from Nazareth, you might say that she was from “the wrong side of the tracks”. Nazareth was the a little town of folks were truly the poor, simple people.
Mary represents simplicity, innocence, intuition and pure love. She represents the quiet, listening spirit. Regardless of gender, you too are Love, created by Love to be Love.
We could each ask ourselves, “Am I willing to listen to the voice within? Could I continue to be Love when my day is difficult, or when life doesn’t seem fair? Could I be love when life doesn’t make sense?”
You are no less loved than Mary. Whether you are rich or poor, young or old, degree or no degree, no matter how many good or bad choices you’ve made, you are loved. Love is the foundation of the story, and God always has angels speaking Love to you when you listen. There would be no Christmas story without love.
Affirm these words to yourself quietly now: “I am loved; I am created by love, to be love, just as Mary was!”
Now Joseph would soon hear the unexpected and unusual message from Mary. Joseph represents Wisdom. Could there ever be a better union than Love and Wisdom? Is it not true that perhaps love without wisdom is incomplete? Have you ever loved without wisdom? Joseph also represents Strength and Understanding. We must take the time to stir-up the Love and Wisdom, Strength and Understanding within us, to live a truly fulfilling life! As we develop these powers, we learn to trust God.
You see, Christmas wants you to know that there is something very valuable in having wisdom! Something very hopeful in inner-knowing! Christmas wants you to know that even in the deepest, darkest moments of your life will come the greatest moments of Light and Love and Wisdom! Love and Wisdom together bring Light to the darkness!
As time passed there came a time when Love and Wisdom, Mary and Joseph, made their journey together from Nazareth to Bethlehem to take care of business! It was time to enroll in a new tax in a place of their birth, and at that time in history, it meant traveling a difficult journey by donkey. Mary and Joseph finally arrived in very crowded, busy Bethlehem and looked unsuccessfully for a place to stay. They were worn and tired and just needed to rest comfortably and find quiet! Everything was full and just so crowded and busy and noisy! And Mary, Mary was soon to have her baby! Have you ever wanted to just Stop? Did you? Mary had accepted the call of God, and she gave herself fully to fulfilling that calling. She said, “Yes”. She and Joseph trusted that they were blessed and protected in spite of their circumstances.
Finally, after many rejections for a room in Bethlehem , a kind Innkeeper who also had a full Inn, offered Mary and Joseph a shelter, outside, near his stable, where he kept his animals. We feel how fortunate they must have felt under very stressful circumstances to have been offered this space by a kind Innkeeper. It gives us hope that Good can always come, and that someone will help us take our next step in life. The Innkeeper’s generosity gives us inspiration to be kind to someone in need. Where can you extend a kindness to someone in need? Where in your world could you keep the Christmas story alive by your generosity? It’s never too late to be generous!
Here we have the birth of Jesus, the full outpouring of Love and Wisdom. Mary now wrapped her newborn in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. She and Joseph cared for and protected their new born. Can you see in this manger scene that God is always ever present, ever watchful, ever guiding? Can you see that the kindness that you extend to another gives hope? Can you see that you are the hands and feet of God? If not you, who? Yes, even in the most stressful, tiring, painful, frustrating and difficult circumstances, you can find hope or you can be hope! Jesus represents the coming together of Love and Wisdom, which shows us that All is Well!
The cradle of Jesus is called the Manger. Did you know that manger means a long open box or trough from which horses or cattle eat? It was really simple!! Might we be called to find ways to simplify our lives and to be of help to someone else? Might we be called to reach out!
Oh! Do you remember the Star that rose in the East?
The Star is so important to the whole story! The Star represents the Light that shows the way, the Light that brings Light to the World, even in dark times!
The star rose where? … in the East!
The East represents the the Inner Consciousness and New Beginnings. The East is where the sun rises to bring a new day! The East is the potential inner working of the mind and attitude toward life, that has the power to make each day new!
You have the power to do that!! What was your attitude when you awoke this morning? What will it be tomorrow and the day after?
If you make this a season of stress, then it will be! But if you look to the “East” and focus on the power that you have to make it a great day, then you can do that. You can make each day a great day! Your mind and heart will be clear and focused on being the Love, the Wisdom, the Strength and the Understanding!
On this Clear Night there were Three Wise Men and Three Gifts!
Well, we are told that these men had followed that Star in the East, and they brought very special gifts to the birth place.
Why those? They were all very precious and they still are!
Gold represents the Riches of Life but also the Richness of Your Spirit. Those gifts and powers are within you! That’s powerful! Just think of taking the best of who you are into your world and sharing with family, friends and strangers, not being consumed with only yourself or the material things of life.
Frankincense was another gift and it represents the Beauty of Your Spirit! Oh! If only you could only grasp the beauty that your spirit is! Love itself!!
Myrrh is another gift that represent the Eternity of Your Spirit! Although the body does not live forever, you are an eternal being in the Mind of God. You are a spirit, who has always been and always will be without end. Yes, you are an eternal spirit, alive always!
I love to affirm: “I live to give; it brings me great joy!”
Another favorite affirmation is: “Most of my kindness to you is kindness to me. Do you mind?” I cannot give without being blessed.
As you travel your road to the awakening of your Christ Light, what gifts will you bring to the world?
Well, here we are in the land of Bethlehem with Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the wise men who have come to honor his birth. They are outside and near the stable; there are animals all around and in the fields there are Shepherds, tending their flock as they head home. The shepherds have meaning too; they represent how God watches over his flock, over you and me - day and night! Who is it that you watch over?
You see, Jesus came as an innocent baby who grew to know who he was: The Living Presence of God! Have you yet come to know that you house within your body temple the Living Presence of God? What difference would that make? We hear from this story to take time to be still, take time to stop and rest, to be generous to others, so that we too can prepare for bringing something NEW into our lives.
Christmas asks us, “What NEW will you bring into your world?”.
As the Angel of the Lord spoke in the scripture: “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
As we are celebrating this holy season, I speak to you: “Do not be afraid! Just listen to that still voice within and know that with Love and Wisdom all things are possible. God is always present and will forever guide you to your best choices and outcomes in life.”
There is hope; there is good news; there is new birth that can happen in your life, and yes, my dear friends, you can and you will make a difference in the world, as you make your life a living Christmas every day!
Peace, Love and Joy are Real Possibilities! Merry Christmas, My Friends!