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Christmas is a celebration of a life and its story, the life of one whose words and dying have touched and forever changed – and continues to change – our world.
He grew and walked among us, teaching us how to live, putting words to the truth of his beliefs so others might come to know and dare to put words to their own. He was a believer like many of us but seemed to have a larger sense of what a life was supposed to be … and what he needed to do to have his own fulfill that meaning.
He grew in wisdom, a carpenter’s son, somehow learning, most likely from his mother, to accept all around him as he accepted himself, knowing that love needed precisely that “Fiat” as its beginning.
Even in his youth he spoke the truth of his believing, never wavering in it or away from it. His was a gentle, inviting voice, speaking of peace for any who might hear, letting them do with his words whatever they might. He was always open to an other’s truth, a perfect teacher.
His love was glaringly unselfish, giving, being present, letting be. He seemed to know each life belonged to the one living it – even those closest to him – as his belonged to him and, he believed, his creator’s wanting.
He himself was what he asked all of us to be a light on a mountaintop. What drew others to him was his clarity and challenging simplicity, his respect for and embodiment of other prophets. He spoke a truth few could question and those who did were unable to let in what he was saying. He touched many into wholeness and wept for those who were blind to his vision.
His humanness was never more defined than in the Garden of Gethsemane, his surrender to what must be, and from the cross his cry of abandonment.
Others and time have made him larger than life. He was definitely larger than most of us. But I have grown to believe that it is in his humanness I find his meanings – and challenges I try to live into.
Being one with him in spirit seldom seems enough, though I believe it is more than enough to take me home.
The Christmas child’s story, his life and his lessons are eternal. Without his life, his dying certainly, our world would be empty of cathedrals, churches and chapels and much, much more, particularly the wondrous Babel of believing voices constant in their telling – and living – of his truth. He was a child, born into time, so far away from his home, like all of us.
Christmas and its meanings, no matter what one believes, is a light on a mountaintop, as well.
Happy Holidays to one and all.