O Christmas Tree!

Wait a minute before taking down your Christmas tree! It can do something more for you than shine some lights and glitter some tinsel.

In Judeo-Christian Scripture man’s story almost begins with a tree—a garden of trees, in fact. The forbidden one was the one necessary for man to sample to become a conscious human being, able to distinguish between good and evil.

Later, the songs of the Hebrews sang of man as a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth fruit in its season. Over and over tree is used as a metaphor for God’s greatest creation, and the water it needs for life as God’s greatest gift.

There are legends that tell of man eager to return to the first garden in order to sample the fruit of the tree he had ignored, that of eternal life. And the gospels corroborate this by having Jesus tell of an abundant life that God intends for everyone.

Look at your Christmas tree one more time, as a symbol of yourself: richly decorated, if only with popcorn strings and paper chains; the center of your holiday enjoyment; holding treasures wrapped and waiting for the joy of the recipient; a memorial to the idea that evergreens represent life that does not die.

You are a conscious tree, growing in living water (whether you recognize it or not): your life having been decorated by all the people who have had positive influences on you; your lights being your positive influences on others; and the gifts (which must begin under the tree to complete the symbol), all the blessings you give and receive throughout the year.

So, take down your tree if you must, but think every day of the corner where it stood, and be that tree throughout the year.

27 December 2015

(Note: Nine other essays on the symbols of Christmas may be found on this website under Meditations)

God’s Essential Attribute

The ability of God to plant himself within the flesh of humankind was an attribute of God from the beginning, so in a very real sense we were with God from the beginning. The soul that resides in each of us is none other than the essence of God which is and was and shall be, having no beginning and no end.

The God-in-us that was alive from the beginning, and has been alive in us since our birth, needs a second birth—a birth into our conscious awareness. This spiritual birth, much like our physical parturition, involves risk and suffering. As the fetus must make the journey through the narrow birth canal, leaving the warm womb and risking asphyxiation in the passage, our spiritual birth involves the decision to leave the present protective will power of consciousness, trusting something within and beyond us to get us through the confines of this second birth canal.

God is not satisfied until his essence is part of our conscious awareness. Only then can he reveal himself to us in ways that give us the fullness of life he has for us. Only then can he think his thoughts in us and through us. Only then can he infuse us with his kind of creative energy so that our work and play become intertwined, transforming us into beings whose greatest joy is simply being.

(Note: a story of transformation that is available to everyone is found on this website under book)

We Are God’s Christs

Jesus is everyman. Jesus is us.  He makes mistakes.  He becomes angry.  He needs quiet time.  And all the while he is trying to minister to others in the way he believes God is calling him to do.

Jesus truly cares about others, and his compassion is shown in many examples throughout the gospel stories.  He also recognizes his need for companions, for close friends, and for time to examine his own motives and goals.

Aren’t we like Jesus?  Haven’t we set out to make ourselves into the best child of God that we can be?  Aren’t we showing compassion and generosity to our fellows as we are able?  And don’t we recognize our need for community and enrichment and ways to keep our bodies and minds and spirits healthy?

I think yes.

So what is lacking?

What is lacking is our awareness that we are God’s Christs.  We recognize our humanity.  In fact, sometimes it is too much with us.  What we don’t experience and can’t find in all our thinking, reading, talking, acting, and even praying, is our divinity–the experiential realization throughout our entire being that God takes delight in dwelling within us, and that we are useful to God simply by being his holy, cherished Child.

So how do we achieve the goal of experiencing divinity within humanity?  We might begin with a letter to God–asking the genuine questions we may not have ever before put in writing.  See what happens.  My hunch is that God would welcome a dialogue with us.

My experience is that God wants our participation, our cooperation in this miracle of making us know we are his Christs.

(Note: a personal story of experiencing divinity is available on this website under Book)