What does Christmas mean to you?
We often hear about, and relate to, the magic of Christmas: the sparkle and glow of the lights, the warmth of a real fire, the giving and receiving of gifts, being with loved ones, with family and friends.
For people who can share in these experiences it is a wonderful time of the year. But what about those who do not have these experiences? And for those who do, however lovely it is, the time soon passes and we can slip back into feeling despondent and low, due to dark evenings, cold, damp days and emptying our bank account.
So what is Christmas really about?
In the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, we read about the miracle of the birth of baby Jesus and in the gospel of John we read of the coming of the Son of God. For Christians, Christmas is a time of thanksgiving, joy and celebration, when we sing carols and give thanks for the gift that was given to all of humankind.
In Unity we suggest there is even more to Christmas than this. There is a deeper meaning because we celebrate the birth of the Christ in our hearts.
This is not an experience of something outside ourselves being given to us – it is the experience of our divinity arising consciously from within our minds and hearts.
This year, we can help create a very special Christmas, give it extra special meaning, by seeking and finding the Christ in us, as us. And not just us, but everyone else as well. This is the real miracle of Christmas: the gift of love and life that Jesus represents and awakens in us – the deep desire to live and know ‘the Father and I are one’ (John 10:30) for us and everyone.
So what can you do to give this Christmas extra special meaning? How can you honour and celebrate your Christ awareness being born anew? It doesn’t need to be just another day or just another Christmas.
Right now, when life is tough for so many people, we can each consciously allow our awareness of our divinity to shine, to be ‘the light that shines in the darkness’. And, as Jesus lived and taught us, let this light show others that they, too, are the light and have the light to uplift and enlighten their lives.
We can realise the greatness and the goodness that is in all people and help it be known. We can encourage the children to know they are so much more than they think they are, full of love, creativity and intelligence. We can see the world through eyes of love and see the love in all people.
For we can only really know ourselves as light and love when we share this gift of knowing with all of life around us – we awaken to our spiritual truth by helping others the same.
This year, how will you connect with the deeper meaning of Christmas?