Sunday, December 18, 2016

Love Came Down at Christmas

"Earth's Crammed with Heaven"
- snow in the mountains -

Christmas came early this year with the gift of our second grand baby, born yesterday, 20 inches long, weighing 7 pounds, 4 ounces.  As I gazed in wonder at a picture of the tiny little-one taken at the time of his birth, I couldn’t help but think of a line from Christina Rossetti’s  “Christmas Poem:”

Love came down at Christmas
Love all lovely, Love Divine.
Love was born at Christmas.

While many people may be enchanted by the poetry of this season, the idea of a baby born in far away Bethlehem some 2000 years ago probably seems quite distant and removed even for “believing” Christians. Others hear that Christmas story about God taking on the flesh of a human being in the birth of “Baby Jesus” and they dismiss it all as a magical fantasy. But yesterday, as I was looking at the picture of our newborn baby grandchild, it wasn’t at all difficult for me to imagine how “God,” the Universal energy of Love, would take the form of human flesh. This year the story of Christmas has taken on a fresh new meaning for me.

It strikes me that maybe we all take the “overly familiar” Christmas story far too literally and in doing so we reduce its message and perhaps even trivialize it. We think it’s only a story about an event that happened in a far away place in a long ago time and we imagine that the story has little “real” relevance to our own ordinary lives and, at best, it belongs to Christian believers. But I actually think that the Christmas story is way bigger than we might imagine and it belongs to every human being. The powerful poetry about “God” becoming “incarnate” within human flesh reveals a much deeper and more enduring truth about each and every one of us.

Yesterday, as I looked in awe at the picture of our newborn grand baby, I saw in his eyes a wondrous pristine innocence, a “Spark of God” was shining in him. Love had taken on the form of human flesh, “Love all lovely, Love Divine.”  So it is with each and every one of us born into our wonderfully fragile human condition.  We are all imbued with a “Spark of God,” the Energy of Love becomes incarnate within each of us when we are born.

As we grow and mature we all too often ignore and hide that “Divine Spark” that has taken on our human flesh but it’s always there and can never be extinguished - the secret of life is to do our best to keep that flame alive and burning brightly.  

Author and teacher, Eckhart Tolle, once said:

You are the universe expressing itself as a human for a little while

Maybe this is exactly what the “Christmas” story is saying to us all.

Yesterday as we all went about the living of our routine ordinary lives, something quite extraordinary was going on.  All over the planet newborn babies were coming into the world. All over the planet sparks of God were igniting the earth as “God” was taking on our human flesh. The sun and moon danced, the cosmos was all aglow and angels were singing to welcome the holy birth.  Joy to the World!

Happy “Birth” Day, Baby Ian!

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