Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Christmas Story

It’s Christmastime and this time of year there is a lot of emphasis on the birth of Jesus. Now we really don’t know if Jesus was born in December but centuries ago someone decided to celebrate his birth in conjunction with the celebration of the winter solstice. If you investigate the major religions you will find a lot of similarities in their stories and it really doesn’t matter whether Jesus was actually born in December or not. I think the point is that at some point several centuries ago there was a child born who was destined to change the course of history. Over the years my interpretation of the event has changed in conjunction to my viewpoint of the whole premise surrounding the life of Jesus and the birth of Christianity due to his life and death. During my childhood and early adulthood, I was surrounded by the belief in a Saviour of mankind and of my own soul and spent a great deal of time in the pursuit of salvation.

At some point I had the profound revelation that Jesus was not going to show up and solve all my problems. I prayed and prayed and yet I was miserable and bad things continued to happen. One day I realized that Jesus did not come to solve all my problems. His message was one of love and empowerment. He wanted me to grow up and solve my own problems. For awhile I was mad at Jesus and Christianity because I thought that Jesus had let me down. I eventually got myself out of the mess I had created for myself and I thought that I had thought of all the solutions to my problems on my own. I had immersed myself in self help books and tapes and had learned that my thinking is what creates my reality. It is not the job of Jesus or any other Diety to override our decisions and come and rescue us from ourselves.

At this point in my journey of enlightenment, it is my belief that our lives are our own creation. There is an abundance of Help from the Unseen Realms available to us if we will ask, but none of the Higher Powers are going to make our problems go away with no involvement on our part. I think the story of the birth of Jesus is a parable we can all learn from. There is a Benevolent Force who loves us enough to send us the opportunity to birth a new life in the midst of a life of struggle. In the story Mary receives a message from an Angel that she will bring forth a Son who will bring salvation to many. I believe that within us all is the potential to bring hope and life and salvation to someone else and also to ourselves. We may have a message of hope and life to bring to someone else. In the story we may be the shepherds who also received the message of new life and hope and brought the message to others. We may be the wise men who brought gifts from far away. We may be the inn keeper who gave the birth a place to happen, even though it was not where most births happened.

I have found that even though my belief system has changed somewhat and I do not believe that Jesus came to save me from my sins, I have found in the story of the birth of Jesus a lesson I can take to heart. At some point in our lives we all are walking around in a dark place and all of a sudden, we receive an inspiration that there is hope. The birth of a child represents the beginning of new life. There is a hope that new life is available and all we have to do is birth it into our lives. That seed of hope is planted and while that seed grows within us we begin to notice that our perspective has changed. If we believe that we contain within the womb of our selves the potential for a new life, then circumstances begin to change. Wise men start coming to visit us with gifts. Shepherds start coming to visit and spread the news of cheer and good will to all. The only thing that has changed is our belief that within us is the seed for our salvation.

The gift of the story of Christmas is that new life is available to us all. When the light turns on inside of us and we realize that salvation comes to the inside of us, not the outside, then the message Jesus was trying to tell us is heard. Even some of Jesus disciples thought that Jesus had come to overthrow the government, and Jesus said no… salvation comes from the inside out. When we have peace and love within our hearts then we have heard the message.

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