There are 5 stages of Christmas celebration. I'd like to mention them, on this 25th of December in naught dot two.
Stage 1: Bah Humbug. It's just another day. Ignore it.
Stage 2: Let's Party! Brandy in eggnog, office parties, gift exchanges, the last great hope of commerce for the year.
Stage 3: Alignment with the Cosmos. The Winter Solstice, the shortest night of the year. We light the town in this darkest hour as a reminder of hope & goodness.
Stage 4: Jesus' Birthday. Watch the kiddies sing carols about this baby born 2000+ years ago.
Certainly there is an evolution in consciousness here. But these 4 preliminary stages are so limited, so childish, that one finds it hard to resist the temptation to call them silly.
True growth, true wisdom, and true spirituality begins in Stage 5: Christ Born in You.
The Church places Jesus on a pedestal, so that it can more easily ignore him. As long as Jesus is so special as to be unreachable, then we are free to ignore what he has to say. The act of so-called "worship" is often a form of negating; as long as I worship something, it can mean I am now free to get on with my regular life.
Clearly, the birth of this baby 2000 years ago was NOT sufficient to solve the world's problems. 2002 saw the possibility of a limited nuclear exchange being discussed in cool, "rational" tones. 45,000 still die of starvation every night.
Frankly, it does not interest me at all to "worship" a baby's birth 20 centuries ago. It serves us nothing, and brings no peace to the world.
But that's why "Jesus' Birthday" is so limited. Nothing that happened 2000 years ago, no matter how profound that event may have been, can tangibly affect today's world. The "echo" simply does not last that long.
Why, then, is Christmas so important to me?
The notion is quite simple, though profound. A clear-minded reading of the Bible makes it clear that simply believing in Jesus' death & resurrection does you no good. Unless Jesus' death & resurrection become YOUR death to ego & resurrection to the new Pure Spirit Life, then His Passion does you nothing.
"Until Christ is formed in you......." The entire idea of a Mythic Center is one which is continually re-enacted through the ages. Every Easter should be a rededication to the Death of Self we all should be struggling with. So too, the real value in Christmas lies in Christ being born IN YOU. Foretold by the Prophets. Miraculously by the Hand of God. Witnessed by the Angels. And so on.
God cares nothing if you believe in Jesus, his birth, life, death or resurrection.
It is, however, vitally essential that you reenact his birth, life, death & resurrection. "If anyone wishes to come after me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me!" Follow, as in reenact. Believing is a nice starting point, but as an end in itself it is worthless. Completely, absolutely worthless. As a starting point to faith which is a living experience, then (and only then) it has value.
I invite you to re-read the Birth accounts, and see them as symbols for your own spiritual birth.
"Hark, the herald Angels sing, Glory to the newborn King!!!!!!!!" That King is You.
When we are all living with the Christ born & growing in us, then, and only then, will that baby's birth have any value.
And only in a world where The Christ lives and grows in all people, can we ever find the hope of
Peace on Earth,
Goodwill to all mankind.
Here's to Christ being reborn in you.
"Jesus is the reason for the season." And WE are the reason Jesus gave us the season.
Stop worshipping The Christ Child, and Be Him.
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