The Light in You
A Course in Miracles says, “The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in darkness. See it not outside yourself, but shining in the Heaven within, and accept it as the sign the time of Christ has come.” This star is not Venus, nor is it a sun from a far-off galaxy; rather, it refers to the light of your original nature. This light is not of this world. It does flicker, and it can never go out. “The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself,” teaches the Course.
We celebrate many festivals of light at this time of year, such as the Solstice, Hanukkah, Bodhi Day (Buddha’s Enlightenment) and Diwali. Tonight, we will light a candle, and connect deeply to the light of our soul. As we do this, I’ll play I am Light, by India Arie, a modern hymn.
A New Birth
Christmas is the story of the birth of Jesus, who was one person in this world; it’s also about the birth of Christ, which is the original nature we all share. Lesson 303 in A Course in Miracles is entitled The holy Christ is born in me today. It begins, “Watch with me, angels, watch with me today. Let all God’s holy Thoughts surround me, and be still with me while Heaven’s Son is born.” This lesson could easily have been written for Christmas Day, but it actually falls on another day in the calendar. Each day of the year offers us the chance to birth something new.
A great meditation for this holiday season is to sit with this question: What wants to be born in me? Listen deeply, and hear what your soul most wants for you. Pay attention to your life, and notice what story is emerging in you at present. My wife, Hollie, wrote me a poem recently with these lines:
|“What wants to be born in you, beloved?
What does the light want to call into being
From the quiet, generous earth
That waits patiently
In the cave of your heart?”
End of Sacrifice
In the text of A Course in Miracles, there’s a section called Christmas as the End of Sacrifice. The Course says, “You think that everyone outside yourself demands your sacrifice, but you do not see that only you demand sacrifice, and only of yourself.” The temptation of Christmas is to forget its true purpose, to lose your boundaries, to max out on your credit card, and do what everyone else wants for Christmas. It takes twelve months to recover from this unholy mess and then we do it all over again.
Consider the ghosts of Christmas past, and make an inventory of the ways you sacrifice yourself. Afterwards, complete this sentence five times: One way I could go into sacrifice this year is… Be honest, even if it hurts. As the saying goes, the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. Being truthful enables you to make better choices in the long run. Also, you can always ask the angel of forgiveness to help you make better choices.
A Christmas Prayer
If you were to pray just one prayer this Christmas, and pray it with your whole heart, how would it begin and what would you say? A Course in Miracles teaches, “Prayer is the medium of miracles. It is a means of communication of the created with the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.”
At our gathering this evening, each of us will write a prayer for Christmas. Our prayer will be our guiding star for the days to come. It will help us to remember the spirit of Christmas and to be receptive to the gifts of his holiday season.
Shining Your Light
Our world is experiencing a bleak mid-winter at present. Record levels of debt support our debt economy. International politics fails to deliver leaders that inspire us. The refugees of Syria are without a home this Christmas. The media continues to sell fear to attract advertising. Charities compete with other charities in an effort to help heal our community. For all these reasons and more, it has never been so easy to be the presence of love and to make a difference to someone’s life.
The holiday season is a time to commit to our spiritual path as never before. It’s a time to remember who we are, to shine our light, and bless the world with love. If Jesus was the only one who had access to the Christ, he would be an idol; but because Jesus taught us we can all experience the Christ, he is our teacher. We celebrate the birth of all the great saints – Jesus, Siddhartha, Muhammad, etc – so that we can give birth to the light that shines in all of us.
This evening I will close our gathering with a short reading by St. Teresa of Avila, who said:
|“Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
No hands but yours, no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s
compassion looks out to the world.
Yours are the feet with which he
walks to do good.
Yours are the hands with which he
blesses all the world.”
I wish you blessings and miracles this Christmas time.