Today we celebrate the birth of the Christ Jesus, born in a stable in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, welcomed into the world by humble shepherds and Three Wise Kings — poor men and rich men. Even though Christmas is a Christian celebration, the message of this sacred time is a message for the whole world. The angel who spoke to the shepherds in the fields proclaimed: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Jesus Christ.”
I hope this Christmas you can take time out from what has become, for many, a season of distraction, to let yourself feel the deep stillness and silence that permeates the world to welcome Christ. Listen to the beautiful words of “Silent Night” and you will feel it. It is a stillness that has enfolded within it the deepest joy, peace and hope; a medicine of love waiting to heal and transform our hearts. It is the gift of Christ Consciousness to the world. It is the stillness that, magically, led thousands of British, Belgian and German soldiers, on Christmas Day 1914, to put down their weapons, sing Christmas carols, and step out of their trenches to share Christmas greetings with the enemy. It brought hope and humanity at a very dark time in history. We are at a difficult time in the world, and I encourage you to take time, this Christmas, to meditate on Christ’s message of peace: “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” and carry that peace with you to all you encounter.
When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem they found there was no room at the Inn. Imagine what it would be like if each of us became the Innkeeper this Christmas and invited Jesus into our hearts, to be born again as the awakened Christ Consciousness in us. I am reminded of Paramahansa Yogananda’s words: “The cosy crib of your heart has for a very long time been small, holding self-love alone; now you must make it enormous, so that social, national, international, and Cosmic Christ-Love may be born there and become One Love.”
This is such a powerful time of Divine cosmic energy, absorb it and feel the positive changes it brings. Only a few days after the December Solstice, Nature shines this great light on the world and on everyone, removing darkness from our lives. This light of bliss, manifested through the birth of Jesus, brings with it happiness and joy, so much so that people wish ever day could be Christmas day. Whatever negativity you hold, whoever you need to forgive, whatever has to healed in your life, this is a wonderful time to ask for God’s grace to do that. Wherever you are today, take the peace and joy of Christ with you. As you sit around your Christmas table, remember and honour your ancestors, thanking them for their sacrifices that brought you here. Feel your joy and let it dance its way through you to touch the hearts of all you meet.
As I wish you and your families all the blessings, joy and peace of this Holy day, I would like to finish by sharing some words from this beautiful Christmas poem by Joyce Rupp, shared with me by one of my students:
“May the hope of this sacred season settle in your soul.
May it be a foundation of courage for you.
When times of distress occupy your inner land
May you keep your eye on the Star within you and trust
This luminescent Presence to guide you and direct you each day.
May you go often to the Bethlehem of your heart
And visit the One who offers you peace.
May you bring this peace into our world.”