The rich and powerful didn't get angels to visit them to announce that God had moved in the neighborhood...as a matter of fact, their intent was to kill this child (read the story). It was the "have-nots" that were given hope. I wonder how many "have-nots" are walking the streets homeless this Christmas that could use a flesh and blood angel to provide them a meal or a warm place to lay their head...or maybe there is no room for them in our inns anymore. The One who was born on this most celebrated day made some important statements at the end of His life. He often spoke about the least, the last, and the lost...and He said "insomuch as you have done it unto the least of these you have done it unto Me..." His idea of celebrating His life was visiting prisoners, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry. Those seemed really big issues on His agenda. Psychologist Carl Jung made a profound statement regarding "the least of these". For Jung, all judgment was projection. In actual fact he made it clear that you cannot give what you do not have. What if the "least, last and lost" was first and foremost you as an individual? So maybe the real meaning of Christmas will be found in those areas in your waking or sleeping life where messages about hope and possibility invite you to embrace a reality beyond the world that you see in front of your eyes. Perhaps my greatest enemies are the ones in my own soul.
What if part of Christmas requires reconciling all the parts of ourselves in the light of what it means to become truly human. What would it be like to come to a place where there were no enemies within you that prevented you from being the childlike dreamer that hoped against hope in believing Good News? What if the real meaning of Christmas is hidden somewhere in the reality that in order to be truly divine you have to become truly human, and the more human you are, the more you reflect the reality of the divine nature? Not sure if we are ready to explore all of those things, so in the meantime while you are out decorating the halls with boughs of holly, and listening to your favorite Christmas songs, the reality is that the holiday season has become a time of increased stress and pressure for many, and many people instead of being full of good cheer are filled with despair and need to know that it really is possible to dream again and believe in things impossible, and maybe the people that feel the most stressed are the closest to discovering that the real meaning of Christmas has been lost somewhere in the milieu of what we have made it out to be. It isn't worth the stress...the old carol says it well..."God REST YOU MERRY....gentleman" It doesn't say that they were "merry gentlemen" (or women)...the implication is that in the midst of crisis, conflict, and decision, if nothing else, Christ's birth is the promise of God bringing us to a place of rest that results in being merry. (Excerpt from Mark Chironna's December 14, 2009 article, The Real Meaning of Christmas, Huffington Post)
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