Just as some believe that Mother Mary had the purity to be the Mother of God, there is an invitation to all people to give birth to the reality of God in their life. The invitation is to welcome the spirit through you. In the Christmas story, Mary says this: “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” When that is true for us, we welcome the Christ spirit and deliver it into the world. We are the bearers of good news. We bring tidings of great joy. In the midst of a world that’s filled with horrific events, we bring tidings of great joy.
Recently, there was another school shooting in Colorado, this time in Littleton. Human beings are doing crazy things, and there is a tragic human drama that is being played out. They are not doing what they’re designed to do, which is to bring the Christ spirit and to bring the magnitude of what it is like to be in service and full of joy. I have moments in my life where I figure it’s hopeless—I can’t fix all the horror. Has anybody else ever thought that? There’s just too much, too much going on that is the revelation of separation, the revelation of distortion. And the only way I can bring the power and blessing of the truth is by looking within my own heart. Is there a manger there to welcome the Christ spirit? What am I listening to, and what am I saying?
In the midst of the horror that is going on in the world, many people have gotten rid of their televisions; many people don’t listen to the news. Other people do it to radiate love into current events. But regardless of how you are working with the world, what are you listening to? What is it that is precious in your own heart? Are you listening to the voice of the Beloved in your friends? When your friends are in pain, are you holding a place for them to be loved and felt and heard and cared for?
These words are from the traditional carol O Little Town of Bethlehem.
How silently, how silently
The wondrous Gift is giv’n;
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His Heav’n.
We have to be silent enough to receive it. We have to calm down the insanity of a world that’s been so disconnected from Reality, so that the blessings come into the human heart and can be magnified there and spoken in my voice. It is the word of the Beloved spoken through a human being now that changes the world. Can this heart be the manger in Bethlehem? Can I be Bethlehem, silently holding a space for the Christ spirit to come in, to be born and held and swaddled and protected and delivered?
There is always the opportunity to come back home to this experience. Even if you forget, you can come back and hold the sacred place of the heart through which the blessings of God’s heaven are known.
These words from Luke tell the story of Jesus’ birth.
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.…
This is a story about an event long ago. If that is all it is, it does not have much meaning to you or to me. But this is also our story. It is a symbolic story of the birth of the Cosmic Christ through you or through me.
The final part of the story says this:
Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Here is the opportunity to ponder in your own heart what it is like to give birth to the spirit.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
The birth of the Christ Spirit requires pondering it in your heart, holding a safe place for that which is holy that needs to be born; and also the declaration of the praise and wonder of being alive and being able to serve and do this—to do this together, to do something in collaboration with others who have heard those great tidings.
Here is a David Whyte poem called The Winter of Listening. Listening is a crucial part of the birth of the Christ Spirit being born. Can we listen for the star? Can we listen for the radiance coming from within us? Can we be listening for the voice of wonder, the Christ Spirit that’s being spoken, that’s coming into our own hearts?
No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.
All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
round every living thing.
What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
What we strive for
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
and then nourishes
What we hate
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.
Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.
All those years
listening to those
nothing to say.
All those years
has its own voice
All those years
you can belong
simply by listening.
And the slow
is born from
Silence and winter
has led me to that
So let this winter
for the new life
I must call my own.
I must call it my own. These must be my tidings of great joy. These are my tidings. Join me in this joy of service to what is precious. There is no other joy worth having.
Listen. Listen to the voice of the heart. Listen to the Beloved in your heart and in others, and give it voice. Speak the voice of the Beloved. Speak the voice of the heart. Be that sacred womb that keeps safe the seeds of all that is holy that is in your hands. Let that be penetrated by the star, by the light of heaven, so that something wondrous is born at your hand. Let the Christ child be born today in your name. Let the Christ spirit be known in the tidings of your great joy, be held in your heart, and magnify the spirit of the Lord.
There is a passion in all human hearts to, as I think the song put it, let the dear Christ enter in. When I’m speaking about Christ, I’m not speaking about a religion or a religious figure. I am speaking about the light of being that is the truly natural and normal state for us all. So there is something in the human heart that craves to move out of tragic human drama into an experience of deep communion, deep listening, so that the experience of Universal Love is allowed to enter into the heart that is pure, drama-free.
There is a secret place in the human experience—secret because, for most people, they are unconscious that it is present. That place is to be consciously occupied by the person, so that it is not just a place but it is a home, a dwelling place. When someone is present in that secret place, there is a reality that emanates from there, and communion occurs. There is a receiving of what the stars have to say. There is a receiving of the reality of the Christ. The dear Christ enters in, in that place. For many people, they spend their lives immersed in the drama, with all kinds of passion around that drama, and so they seldom come to the place of peace, the place of quietness, the place of listening, the place of tranquility.
There is a shame that most people carry that keeps them from this place. It is an experience of being identified in the drama, and that never feels good. It never feels good, whether you are a perpetrator of drama or see yourself as a victim of it. There is some kind of shame that goes along with that that can keep a person from entering their own secret place, their own place of deepest communion. This shame in the human psyche tells us that we could not leave the human drama behind and enter the secret place of communion.
Enmeshed in the human drama, a person is enmeshed in whatever role they are playing in that drama. It becomes hard to imagine how that person could be healed, or how that person could enter into a holy place within themselves. And so the person often makes the choice not to do so.
The reality is that that character in the drama could never be healed and could never be whole and could never lose the sense of shame that comes along with it, because the character in that human drama does not really exist. There is someone who does exist, but the character in the drama does not exist. When we watch a soap opera, and we watch what’s going on in that soap opera, do we ever lose sight of the fact that it is a soap opera, after all? And in some way they try to make it real and familiar, in a gloomy, melodramatic kind of way, but most of us would never ever lose track of the fact that it is a soap opera. And as tragic as it may be, and as much as it may relate to some of the tragic things that happen in people’s lives, it is still a soap opera and, by definition, a drama. And if we’re wrapped up in the soap opera, we may hope for the success of one of the characters, but whatever happens, it is not real. It is just a character in a drama, after all.
And so it is in our own lives. It seems to be easy, enmeshed in the drama, to hope the drama gets better. To hope the news stories somehow change their tone and get happier, or to hope that what is happening around you becomes more favorable. And sometimes it does, briefly. How much of that is simply the drama? The human drama is never going to get any better. The human drama is, by its own nature, what it is.
But there is another drama, another reality to experience. We have the opportunity to go into our own secret chamber and find that within that place in ourselves there is this incredible creativity, this wonder of being. There is all that comes to us in our awareness; there is all the wonder of being around us; there are all the opportunities to create. And where did that person go who was in the human drama, that person who was feeling all that shame and all that hopelessness and all that agony? Where did that person go? Did they get better? Did they somehow become improved because now they are in this secret place in themselves? No. That character, and all they experience, dissolves and fades into oblivion, if we let it, in favor of the wonder of being, the reality of being that we know in ourselves, and all the creativity of that reality.
Speaking of the story of Jesus, there’s definitely some human drama going on there. But what most people miss is that there is the story of the wonder of being coming forth. There was the emergence of regal dignity, and the significance of that was felt by the key characters in the story.
Entering the place of deep listening in ourselves and deep communion, we sense the regal dignity of being. We sense that this reality that we are living in carries not only amazing beauty and wonder but also the presence of being. In that presence there is regal dignity. In entering that place, we have come into that presence, and we ourselves have the opportunity to be an embodiment of regal dignity.
The quality of being regal relates to royalty and sovereignty, and in our case the sovereignty of our own being, that reality to which we yield. And in yielding, we experience the presence of regal dignity, the presence of our own sovereignty, the presence of the king or the queen that we are, our own royal presence.
Regal dignity in us inspires genius. It inspires our own genius when we are living in that presence. And when we are bringing that presence of regal dignity to other people, we are inspiring their genius. We all think better in that presence. Our creative imagination is sparked. With regal dignity comes the God of Possibility that illuminates the mind—a mind which could not figure out how to get out of the drama when it was enmeshed in it, but in the presence of regal dignity the mind lights up and sees possibility all over.
Regal dignity empowers action. It incites action. As you or I abide in that place in which regal dignity is known, we are inspired to allow that reality to be embodied in our life. We are inspired to create and to take action that would allow manifestation to occur in our world. We’re inspired to bring the presence of that regal dignity, embodied in all the things that we say and do, to other people and to our world—to create a world that is filled with that reality and is in service to it.
There’s a third thing that is brought forth from the experience of regal dignity in a person. This, too, is an experience that occurs both within a person and between people. It is very simple: there is love that flows to the heart of people from someone who knows regal dignity. Because what you know is that you have love to give. You are the very presence of what love is. You are not in a place of shame about who you are, wondering if your presence would be a blessing to another person. You know that the reality of who you are is love, and that you have love to give to the hearts of people in your life. And as you live in the regal dignity of being, there is love that flows to your own heart that heals and transforms all that is present within it.
I invite you to enter into the secret place of your own being as you speak these words three times with your eyes closed. As you do, invite the Beloved more deeply into your own experience.
I am the embodiment of regal dignity.
I am surrounded by a kingdom of love.