The spirit moves in mysterious ways, yes?
Shouldn’t Christmas be a time to celebrate that mystery of the spirit?
I believe it – so does the Oneness Center of Fresno. My family and I, looking for a meaningfully different kind of Christmas Eve service tonight, ventured to the center and witnessed one of the most beautiful services I have ever experienced.
It wasn’t an average Christian service by any stretch of the imagination.
The message was not to believe in Jesus and bask in his power – this was the message of my church yesterday morning. We skipped over the beauty of Christmas entirely, and I walked away very disheartened.
The message was to simply reflect on what it means to experience the divine presence within each of us, within ourselves and within others. The beauty of Christmas is that Jesus comes with such subtlety and ordinary life as a simple peasant baby of an oppressed people… but that his life is a testimony to what happens when the presence of God is always sought, always revered, and always loved.
We talked about ‘enlightenment,’ ‘realizing one’s divinity,’ ‘metaphysical interpretation,’ ‘the divine in me’ – the language is not familiar to my Western ear, but it reminds me a side of God that I sometimes forget.
God is not all common sense; God is mysterious.
The story of Christmas is not of one reason and rational thinking… unusual, unexpected things are happening in a world that is calling for a Messiah. A young girl giving birth to a child not created the way children are usually created — a father who owes nothing but chooses to love a young woman and her illegitimate son — an old, barren cousin having a son who will later eat locusts and wild honey — men traveling for weeks, months, years to follow a star that they believe will lead them to a prophesied king — and all this happening to a tiny Jewish life that probably has no idea what all the commotion is about.
I love Christmas. I love the fact that it really doesn’t make that much sense. And there is the beauty. Let’s recognize God’s presence wherever we see it… I see it in this tiny child, in this story, in this season. I see it in you, and I see it in me, and I see in Josie who I met today on Olive.
I see it in the song “O Holy Night,” which never hit me until tonight. The reason that a traditional, liturgical hymn would touch me in a place where mysticism, interspirituality, and metaphysics are the norm – now that is a mystery!
a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
fall on your knees, oh hear the angels voices
oh night divine!
oh night… when Christ was born
merry christmas, and namaste!