Have you ever wondered why Christmas can send warm chills down your spine? Even after you get fed up with all the commercialism? Even after you become disillusioned by the historical inaccuracy of some of the elements of the story? And even after you have decided that you can’t buy into some of the elements of dogma and belief attached to Christmas? And then think:
Darn. Christmas got me again. There’s just something about this holiday…
Yes, there is something about Christmas. Locked within the symbology and the story is a truth and wisdom for you and for me; a truth our world desperately needs. While wrapped with story and belief, the gift within the wrapping is a formula for our oneness, for our enlightenment as a race, and for a thriving future on Planet Earth. There is a recipe for our collective rebirth as humankind.
So are you ready to see past the wrapping and open this Christmas gift? Past the dogma and belief, the scientific impossibility of a virgin birth, and the possible historical inaccuracies, to crack the code of the sacred symbology of the Christmas story?
Some speculate that the most well-known verses from the Bible are not John 3:16, the Lord’s Prayer, or the 23rd Psalm. That the best-known verses from the Bible are from the 2nd chapter of Luke, made famous by Linus who recites them in A Charlie Brown Christmas. They touch our hearts, especially being read by a child.
Here are the verses Linus recites, and a little more.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
In typical biblical efficiency, so much is said in so few words. These verses suggest a wondrous pageantry and celestial affairs coming to Earth.
So, what about the message of the angels? It’s so clear that what is being said was meant to be relevant for all the world. This was an event of global significance. That significance stretched far beyond the people who were there or the country where they were.
The angels didn’t say, Build a church. They didn’t say Build a religion, or Build a nation. They simply said this:
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
All people. It’s so easy, it seems, for religious traditions and spiritual paths to end up believing that what they are experiencing is relevant to them and them alone. And indeed it is relevant to them. But at the origin of all faith, all religion, and all spiritual practice, is something that is designed not only for those who happen to come across that faith and follow it but ultimately something relevant for the whole world. And so we call for an awakening—awakening so that those who are hearing the voice of the angel, in whatever way, realize that it’s not just for them. It’s not just for me and mine, it’s not just for us and not them. It is for the whole world.
This biblical passage reminds me of what the voice of Spirit said to Abraham, then known as Abram, early in the story recorded in the Bible. Abraham is seen as the father of three great religions: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Here is the biblical telling of the beginning of the path of spiritual evolution for humankind. These verses portray the original spiritual DNA for that evolution.
Here’s what they say:
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)
Do you see the parallel with the voice of the Christmas angel?
“In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”—not only the Children of Israel, not only the state of Israel, not only those who follow the Judaic path, not only Christians or Muslims. Nor is it only for those who consider themselves Emissaries of Divine Light.
In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Here is this original message coming from the Unseen into the awareness of Abraham, the same message that came from the Christmas angel. There was the vision of the spiritual evolution of all humankind and the immediate steps Abraham was called to take to fulfill that vision.
There was a nation to build—Israel. But that nation had relevance to the whole world—not only to its own people but to all people, all families.
Later on, in Chapter 22, this is said to Abraham:
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore.
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;…
All the nations of the earth…
Both the story from Luke and Abraham’s calling portray the primal impulse for our spiritual evolution as humankind.
Today, visionary leaders tell us to begin with the end in mind. This is habit #2 of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. Gregg Braden, Michael Beckwith, and many others teach how, if we are to truly create, we must entertain deeply in heart and mind what will become the ultimate manifestation of our creating.
In the voice of the angel to the shepherds, and in the voice of the Lord to Abraham, there was at the beginning of things what was to be in the fulfillment of things: great joy, peace, goodwill and blessing for all people, all families and all nations.
Here we are today, entering the holiday season in the year 2020. Does it seem to you sometimes that we are not at the beginning or the end but in the middle of things? That we are in the thick of it?
The voice of the Christmas angel reminds us that if we are in the middle of things, it is a good time to remember the beginning of it all. And according to the beginning, and according to how true we are to the beginning of things, so will the ending be.
We find these words in the Book of Revelation:
I am Alpha and Omega.
I am the beginning, and I am the ending. I am the primal and the final.
In the beginning, the seed of our spiritual evolution was for all humankind. Anything global and universal has to start someplace, perhaps with a nation or, in Abraham’s case, with simply going to Canaan. There is something to do that doesn’t seem quite so universal or global; it appears to be very specific and local, and perhaps limited. We are called upon to take such steps—to do something in the midst of things. But never ever, in taking that step, can we lose our awareness of Alpha and Omega—the beginning of things and the ending of things.
As Emissaries of Divine Light, we founded an organization and created a following. We bought property—we established Sunrise Ranch, Gate House, Edenvale, Riverdell and other places. But this is not the ending of things.
When embraced with vision, the immediate reality allows an opening to the universal and the global. Care of the immediate allows what was initiated at the beginning of things to be fulfilled in the ending of things. This requires that we are people of vision, people who hold in their hearts original purpose—not because we have any illusion of going back to anything but knowing that we are fulfilling the seeds of the original spiritual DNA for our global spiritual evolution.
We are in the middle of Hanukkah, a part of the story of humanity in the middle of things. And the heroes of the story certainly found themselves in the thick of it.
The nation born out of Abraham’s vision had cracked apart, and some of the people of that nation were carried off to Babylon, which was then conquered by Persia. They became the Jewish people. And after a relatively brief stay, they were reinstalled by the Persians back in Jerusalem and in places in North Africa. What a fascinating historical outworking!
From that period to Jesus’ birth, and beyond, they held the spiritual lineage they brought with them to Jerusalem. They were challenged by the political forces around them, and in the Hanukkah story there was an empire in Syria that sought to dominate and wipe out the Jewish faith. There was a segment of the Jewish population that lost track of the roots of their faith. Thankfully, there was a tremendous urge within the core of the Jewish people, led by the Maccabees, to keep sacred what they knew. Their persistence became a gift to the world. It kept safe the lineage for which they were responsible. Hanukkah is the celebration of that. The world owes a debt of gratitude for what they did.
Like people of all faiths, in preserving and keeping safe the beginning of things and the lineage of things, we have to know that that lineage, rightfully followed, is taking us to Omega, the fulfillment of things. Omega is far larger than the heritage we are holding at the moment. So, what we say on this December Day is that as Emissaries of Divine Light, what we are carrying and holding is far larger than the preservation of a lineage, however understood. We are holding the seeds of the fulfillment of that lineage. That fulfillment is spoken of in the voice of the angels to the shepherds:
I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people….
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Cracking the code to the sacred symbology of the Christmas story, the voice of the angel rings in our hearts and minds. It resonates in our spirit and speaks to the world.
We speak to people of our own tradition, whatever that might be, whether Emissaries of Divine Light or anything else. And if it is indeed a true lineage, we know that it is for all people, not because we are going to force a belief, dogma or spiritual practice on anyone. But because we bring the same blessing that Abraham was called to bring. And in everything we do, we address the immediate with that original seed of our primal spirituality.
In doing so, we find our oneness. We sing gently with one voice because that original seed is the same for all people. And truly, the fulfillment of any person, any lineage, any faith, any spiritual path, is the fulfillment of all people.
Can I speak for you when I make this declaration? We are here for this.