Thoughts of Christmas 2014

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Jessica's Birthday and Christmas 2014 209A child asked her mother: “Mommy is God magic?” How close to St John, I thought, not magic but mystery.
In the beginning was the Word – the word is Love. God is Love- St John; Three things that will last for every, Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love. Then we shall be known. Only Love can really know us.

Christmas is about Identity- God has become human for us. God has been born in every one of us. God is being born in us all the time. A Medieval theologian once said:

God is giving birth constantly. Not only physical in nature surrounding us, but also spiritual, in the inner soul of everything alive. God does not stop being the creator after physical birth. It goes on and on in giving birth. So the soul that has its roots in the God, is being born constantly, is like a new born baby constantly, as innocent and fresh as the One in the cradle of Bethlehem. Meister Echardt

Christmas is about connection- relationships. Not so much about presents, but about giving each other Presence of time and attention. At Christmas we seem to gather around us the most significant people in our lives. People we love, those who care about us. We may of course be asleep to this truth, too exhausted, too busy to appreciate this, or on the cell phone, or an asleep teenager. 15 of us sat down to dinner. Sounds lovely – if there is presence. And an awareness of a greater Presence, a presence that lovingly undergirds us all.

Christmas is about Wonder, awe – we see it in children-how we need to become a child again.

What children say about Christmas! I came across these a few years ago:
A Sunday school teacher asked the children to draw a picture of the Holy family. Many had drawn in the conventional way – the holy family in the manger, the hoy family riding on a mule. All rather straight.
Then she saw something interesting and asked a boy to explain his drawing. Which showed an airplane with four heads sticking out of the windows.
I can understand you drew three of the heads to show Joseph, Mary and Jesus, but who is the other person?
“Oh,” answered the boy, “That is Pontius Pilot!”
MY three-year-old son was learning the Christmas story at nursery school ready for the nativity play. He came home and told me very proudly that: “Jesus was born in a stabiliser.”

A FRIEND’S two little girls were looking at a picture of the Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus.
“That’s Mary,” said the older girl, “and that’s her baby Jesus in her arms.” “Where’s Jesus’s dad then?” asked her little sister.
“Oh he is the one taking the picture,” replied her sister.

Give young people your presence this Christmas, find a genuine way to connect with them.
Christmas is about the other, the stranger, the refugee, the stranger, the other.

The world is a torn place. We hear and see so much of the abuse women and children, terror haunts the market places of so many countries, greed and corruption eats away at our hard won democracy and way of life. Millions of people are refugee’s in flight from their own people and countries.

But for us the message of Christmas is realistic, good inspiring news. God has entered into us, to encourage and raise us up. First to break through our own hardened hearts and habits, so that we can change from the inside. We first, we can be the change and presence that we want to see in the world.
Christmas seems to be saying that there is a river under the river of life. A spring of fresh creative energy within us, that we can tap. That will flow in and through us, and open us up to new and creative responses to ourselves and each other. So clear the muck, open up the well points.
This is happening to us now. And we must take it forward into our lives!
For our good, our family’s Good, our country’s good and the world’s good.

“The true source of joy is love – love of God, love of beauty, love of wisdom, love of another human being, it does not matter which. It is all one love, a joyful awareness of dissolving boundaries of our ordinary narrow self, of being with the reality beyond, of being made whole.
So while you are enjoying the company of your loved ones this Christmas, take a moment or two to glimpse anew into the stable of your being. Look again with the eyes of a child, with the eyes of wonder. Reconnect with the profound simplicity of it all. God is Love. ” Billy Kennedy

For me the poet e e cummings comes closest to the meaning of Christmas and incarnation when he says in a poem about love:

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

This is what God is saying to us in the Child of Bethlehem: You matter to me, I I carry your heart, I carry in in my heart. This is what we can say to others.

Bob Commin

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