There is little room allowed in our culture for mystery. The ocean, once a crashing metaphor of divinity, has been reduced to a body of water mapped out with graphs and charts and diagrams of currents. The mountains have all been explored and hiked, the atom split and thoroughly investigated, outer space plotted and photographed. Who needs mystery, we have science. Even religion and spirituality has been largely and practically discarded by the masses; who has time for these fanciful tales? We have money to make and things to do! The reality is that without mystery there is no adventure. Without adventure there little joy to be experienced. Where there is no joy, there is no Real Life; only a shadow of what was once vibrant, colorful and actually worth Living.
Christmas has traditionally been a time to meditate on mystery. In its truest and most enrapturing moments it is an invitation to contemplation on the mind blowing reality of incarnation. (Phew, that was a mouth-full!) The story begins with a young virgin, “overshadowed” and impregnated by God, who bears a child that is to be the Messiah, the Anointed One, The Son of God. This is a crazy story! an incredible mystery! The birth of Jesus is, as they say, “The reason for the season,” but this should not be viewed as an opportunity to assert dogmatic ideas or to recount things we “already know about” (use of quotes because I sincerely doubt that we understand with much depth the reality or even point of Jesus’ birth and life). The real mystery of Jesus was not a virgin birth but his “Christedness”, the power of the Life within and upon him that caused him to be known as Christ; the mystery is that his life was painting a picture for all of us, of all of us, of our Christedness, of the power that dwells within us.
If any is desiring a life of mystery and adventure leading to joy everlasting, they need look no further than the intimate recesses of their own soul and being. Contained within you, within me, is an infinitude of Life and Power that, though we have realized and even worshipped it in others, we have rarely explored this Glory where it is most accessible… inside. The wonder of the life and teachings of Jesus is that he was attempting to teach us about ourselves. He called God “Father” and then told us we should all do this too! Do we realize that in that moment he invited us all to know ourselves as “The son (or daughter) of God”? That speaking those words he made Divinity of us all, of any who could receive it, and beckoned us in the direction of exploring and understanding the fantastic mystery of “Christ in you”?! The real mystery of the story explodes on the scene when Jesus demonstrates and states, “I and the Father are one.” He spoke these words of himself, he spoke them of you, he spoke them of me.
When we speak or sing or think of the mystery of the incarnation this Christmas we must, maybe for the first time, extend the potentiality of this mystery to its furthest reaches; to ourselves and to all those around us. This is not to diminish Jesus in any way. Jesus is my teacher and I seek to honor and learn from him as best I can, always. As his devotee I can assure you that his concern this Christmas is not that you worship and sing songs to him, but that you allow yourself to believe and taste that his life and message were an invitation to you, into God. That your eyes and my eyes might be opened to know that the same spirit that lived in and through him lives in us.
This Christmas may each of us have a revelation of the Beauty and Goodness that indwells us. May we take some time, at least a moment of silence, in order to allow our hearts to hear the words, “You are my beloved son, you are my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased.”
Merry Christmas and extravagant joy to you all!