I’m reposting this little gem from last Christmas. I feel that we need to reexamine the meaning and reason for Christmas in light of what’s transpired over the past 12 months.
What’s the purpose of Christmas? Why celebrate it?” Glad you asked. Let me explain.
The Christmas story is not so much a historic event, but a spiritual event. It represents the Divine bursting through into the dead, cold and cruel places in our lives. It’s the Divine potential that can be born in each and every one of us.
It’s “Emmanuel,” God with us. It’s the Star shining overhead as God announced something new for humanity.
It’s the story of rebirth and regeneration during the winter as celebrated by the Ancients. It’s God’s taking the ordinary and marginalized (an olive-skinned poor gal named Mary), to bring about the extraordinary (the “virgin birth”)-an event that can happen with-and in-each of us.
It’s how a man named Jesus could do the impossible, being infused with the Divine Erotic power that is God’s spirit. How that same power is available to us too today.
The angels, wise men, the adoration of the shepherds, and the manger, all tell of the newness of Jesus-not as history, but a beautiful allegory for all time and for all people. The also tell of the wonder and awe of the Divine.
It’s the recurring promise that God is with us and in us, waiting to break through-just as He/She was with Jesus. And it’s that promise we share and celebrate each and every Christmas and beyond.
We give gifts not to buy favors, but because God gives of Him/Herself all the time. God gave of Self in Jesus. It’s not an exercise in capitalism, but love and goodwill.
We make merry because Jesus showed us that life is a banquet to attend, to celebrate. And to celebrate life and all that it is-even with the bad”-is our gift to God.
That’s why I still celebrate Christmas. That’s why we need Christmas.
After this past 12 months, we need to truly celebrate Christmas. Many of us have been through a bruising year that wounded the soul. We started this year with uncertainty at home and abroad; then ended it with a elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed 26 lives (20 of which schoolchildren).
We need to know that Emmanuel is still real-that God is with us during these dark times. Not as a celestial “Santa Claus” who sees who’s naughty or nice and hands out goodies, but the Divine Reality that transcends all things and dwells within us.
We need to be like Mary and know that we have the power to do extraordinary things to bring change in our world-no matter our state in life. We can birth new things to heal our peoples. And be like Jesus and know that the Divine Erotic can still empower and inspire even in our digital age.
We need to bring back the wonder and awe of the Christmas story-that the Divine’s constantly doing new things that burst upon our universe; to help those who’ve become jaded and cynical over this past year.
The day of giving gifts to impress and feel important is over! We need to give gifts to those in need. First of all, people need the gift of love-the love of God in us-to let them know they’re special. There are people who need the gift of living-especially our homeless and those displaced by Hurricane Sandy. People who need the gift of peace in their lives; and those in the Middle East after the recent skirmish between Israel and Gaza. People who need the gift of hope-the unemployed, the foreclosed, those trying not to give up. People need the gift of healing-the HIV-positive, those who are sick because they cannot afford healthcare. And now those affected by the Connecticut shootings as of this writing need the gifts of comfort and prayer.
And after the year we’ve had, we still need to make merry; to celebrate life and all its goodness. To celebrate the life-enhancing Christ as he breaks forth anew in our lives. To celebrate the joy of life itself. People need a reason to celebrate so life doesn’t become a long funeral for them. And for those who’ve suffered loss, I’m not talking about escapist denial; but to embrace the goodness that’s still in life and the Divinely-empowered courage to go forward.
This year, many who’ve suffered are asking, “Why Christmas?”, “What’s the purpose of it?” The answer (in light of the above) is simple: to celebrate the light over the darkness; the hope over the hopelessness, the peace over the strife, the love over the hate…that’s why.
Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All.