The honoring of Jesus’ birth is obviously a Christian celebration. However, when Jesus is understood not merely as an historical person but as archetypal (one who is the embodiment of the Godly nature of all humanity,) Christmas can have meaning for all of us, whether we consider ourselves religious or not.
God of many names; whether we call you Father or Mother, Allah or Yahweh, Jehovah or Brahma, Higher Power or Great Spirit, you are present within each of us longing to be born again in the manger of our imperfect world. May we see in Jesus’ birth and life, a reflection of who we are (the infleshment of your Spirit) and what we are called to do (care for the least among us).
It is a fact of life that for many, this season of joy is anything but. Experiences of illness, loss, economic hardship, family dysfunction, and other harsh realities can blur the blessedness of Christmas. As we celebrate this sacred time may we be especially mindful of those whose bodies, hearts, and souls are broken. For it was to care for the world’s wounded that you took flesh in one who was wounded himself. And it is to care for those who are in various ways ill in our midst that you desire to be born again through us.
Open our eyes to the light of your presence in ourselves and others. Open our hearts to the pain of your people. Open our hands that we might work to make the promise of Christmas – light in the darkness – a reality for every person we encounter.