The Spirit of God is birthed in our awareness.
As we celebrate Christmas, we more fully recognize this unchanging reality. During this time of the year, different spiritual paths and traditions - Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and earth ceremonies - help us realize the inherent goodness of humanity and our potential as spiritual beings.
Arguably, the most important phrase in the Bible is, “The Christ in you is your hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27). Christ is not a person. Christ is that part of God that is within everyone. The Christmas story reminds us that the most important thing we can do is bring God into expression in every aspect of our lives. If we don't practice the truth we know, we reduce this truth to a mere belief system.
A belief system, not applied, is of little value. It turns God into an abstraction far off somewhere and does nothing to heal the distress of the human condition. There is a line from a traditional Christian song that says. "Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, if not born in you, your soul is still forlorn." An updated interpretation of that line would be, "You can celebrate the birth of Christ's presence that was born in Bethlehem all you want, but if you do not demonstrate this presence in your own life, such celebrations are barren."
We activate the Christ when it is born in our consciousness and becomes the activity of our awareness and life. This birth and action is how we celebrate and honor the birth of the Christ idea.
The word Christ turns off many people. If you are one, substitute Christ with other terms to describe the same thing - Atman's presence, Universal Mind, the Godhead, the Buddhic Mind, or Force. No matter what we call it, our task is to call it forth and make it part of our moment-by-moment experience. The Christ is God's idea of humanity and includes, among other attributes, peace, love, joy, wholeness, and compassion.
Sometimes, these qualities become prominent during or after a crisis. A minister colleague and I were discussing the ongoing conflicts that are happening around the world, as well as the unnecessary deaths from guns in the United States. We asked ourselves, what role does spirituality play in addressing this challenge so we can be more humane? When we hear about such events, can we create a more humane way of being in the world?
My friend and I concluded there are no easy answers, but we know the solution begins with each of us being and embodying the world we want to see. As cliché as it sounds, the words from the Peace Song, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me," are crucial to creating a peaceful world. What we see in the world is simply the out-picturing of the group soul.
Emergencies can serve as evolutionary triggers for something new to emerge. The song Silent Night owes its birth to an emergency. In 1818, just before Christmas, mice had eaten the organ bellows in a church in Austria. A Christmas without music seemed inevitable. Undaunted, the parish Priest improvised the lyrics of Silent Night and asked the organist to think up a simple tune for the words that a person could play on a guitar. And Silent Night was born. Out of an emergency and an apparent crisis, something new was born.
If you are going through a personal crisis or spiritual emergency, the Christ presence reminds you to hold on. Hold on because something new is seeking to emerge through and as you. A breakthrough lies before you. The pressure of who and what you are is always present.
Remember that Jesus represents God's presence within us this Christmas, waiting to be expressed more remarkably. So, as you observe the mass celebration of the Christ, remember Christmas comes:
When you can believe in the unbelievable
See the Invisible
Love the unlovable
Forgive the unforgivable
Pardon the unpardonable
Sing the unsingable
Give the impractical
Receive the improbable
Understand the misunderstood
Bless the cursed
Learn the difficult
Know the unknown
Accept the intolerable
Teach the unteachable
Hear the unheard
Remember the forgotten
Praise and give thanks
And do the impossible