A Child is Born

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born . . .”

The prophet Isaiah predicts a child shall be born to us, one who will be called many wonderful names, one who will be a counselor and an agent for peace.

This child shall be given wisdom and understanding and will judge with righteousness everything that is given him to judge.

This child is not born of the will of the flesh but rather born of the will of God.

Look at all things in terms of the kind of spiritual child God wills to birth in us.  Look again at Isaiah and think of this prediction in terms of an individual, unique child born to each of us.  In addition to whatever we believe about Jesus, God wants to give us each a godchild born of the Holy Spirit into our conscious awareness who will change for always the way we think and behave in this life.

The Second Name

The angel tells Joseph to name the baby Jesus, “Jehovah is salvation.”  In an earlier era a prophet predicts a virgin will bear a son and the child will be called Emmanuel, “God with us.”

We can carry those two names as secret names we remember to remind ourselves to think about.  These two names together tell us much about God.  God is with us and also He is salvation.  Together these names tell us where God is and what He can provide for us.

In the disclosure of God’s nearness to us we cannot help but understand that God wants salvation for us.  Wants us to experience that nearness.  Wants us to experience the salvation present in that nearness.  Wants us to discover the essence and activity of the Holy Spirit.

Isn’t that something we want as well?

Swaddling Cloths

Luke 2:12 “a sign  . . . a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger”

You need to let God wrap you in spiritual bands of cloth, embracing you like a mammy wrapping her precious child—knowing you are God’s only begotten, divine Child.

Swaddling cloths were wound snugly around the baby as a simulation of the womb that had nurtured the infant for nine months.  Interestingly, the use of swaddling cloths has become a modern phenomenon as health care professionals recognize the benefits of keeping the infant bound in bands of cloth.

Think of yourself as a child; imagine yourself as infant, wrapped snugly in bands of cloth—similar to a mummy, your whole body wrapped—not too tightly but firmly enough that you feel safe and secure.

We have the responsibility of wrapping our new being in spiritual swaddling cloths.  Our new being comes to us as fragile and tender as a newborn—and needs special care—spiritual swaddling cloths of care.  We are both the new being and the one who has experienced the birthing pains.  Our swaddling cloths will need to take the form of whatever special care we recognize that we need which requires us to be attentive in a concentrated way.  Attentive to what will best serve the protection and care of our new little one.

When we find ourselves wrapping our God babe in swaddling clothes we show proof of our new birth.

The Name

Jesus was named before he had been conceived (Luke 2:21).

Remember, Jesus was named twice before he was born: once by the angel who appeared to Mary and again by the angel appearing to Joseph in a dream.  Perhaps that is the secret name God has for each of us.

Perhaps we have been named in God’s heart of hearts, a name that begets other names, a name God hopes we’ll discover as we begin to live out our lives and begin to understand what a relationship with God might mean for us.

Perhaps in essence we have the same names as Jesus—peacemaker, compassionate counselor, messenger of God.  And God’s desire is that we discover those names and act on them.

Matthew 1:20 Do Not Be Afraid

Over and over again throughout the Biblical narrative God speaks directly or through angels, prophets, visions, or dreams to say “Do not be afraid.”

Here in the Nativity story Joseph is visited with those words.  “Do not be afraid.”   A reassurance in the midst of confusion, indecision, trepidation, anxiety, and yes, even fear.  “Do not be afraid . . . because . . .is from the Holy Spirit.”

Whenever the Holy Spirit is involved the outcome will be a good one.  Whatever the Holy Spirit is a part of will turn out to be of the will of God.  We can depend on the result.

Anytime we are willingly cooperating with the Holy Spirit we can be assured that any fear we might have will end in rejoicing.  We have multiple opportunities to allow the Holy Spirit to conceive newness in us.  Let us not be afraid to say yes to the  Holy Spirit.

Our Godchild

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born”

…unto us, unto each of us a child is born, each of us is born our own individual godchild.  This child to be born in you and in me is not the same child, just as you and I are not clones of each other.

My godchild is unique just as yours is.  God has different gifts to give each of us in our newly birthed child, gifts that had been designed for us before our birth, gifts we will use to promote love and joy and peace.

This godchild in each of us will be a son, the transformed masculine, thinking, willing part of us, now with new God power, now willing God’s will in us, embracing the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, imbued with all the creative insight and compassion our inner feminine can provide.

Our Firstborn

Luke 2:7 “. . . and Mary gave birth to her firstborn, a son”

Our spiritual godchild is our firstborn.  No matter how many physical children we might have sired or birthed, no matter how many creative ideas have hatched in us, no matter what serious insights we have been privileged to consider, no matter how old we are in calendar years, the godchild is our firstborn.  The firstborn of the essence of God in our conscious awareness.  The firstborn from our soul womb, the holy place deep within us.

Expecting a Child

What if everyone was expecting something new and exciting to happen in them?  Wouldn’t it be amazingly wonderful if all of us knew there was something new and transforming growing in us?

A baby, wanted and expected, is the most exciting gift a family can receive.  The infant conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit presents a perfect symbol for the new spiritual being God wants to birth in each of us.

We have so much going on in our minds that there are no open passages to hear the angel’s telling of the favor God has found in our essence and His desire to birth in us our own holy child.  No lines open to understand from our Inner Wisdom the assurance that the change in us will be for the better.

God’s eagerness to hear our permission to let Him impregnate us may create in us some crisis that gets our full attention.  Probably, though, God is working through a crisis that we have created for ourselves.

We need not hope for the miraculous God wants to work in us.  That may be too much for our callused minds to embrace.  All that is necessary is that we want the absence of something and the arrival of something new.

Your Bethlehem

Your Bethlehem is your beginning place, the place of your spiritual DNA. 

You are of the house and Lineage of David as well as whatever genealogy your mother and father come from.  You are of royal lineage.  You are of the house and family of God.

Your history begins in your own Bethlehem.  Begins in that place where your soul received life in your tiny body.  Begins where you started to record in your spirit sensations of the physical and spiritual world.  Begins where you began to receive all the love and woundedness you have accumulated thus far.

Hebrew prophets foretold that from Bethlehem Ephrathah, though the smallest of the clans of Judah, would come one who would be a special ruler.  Out of our Bethlehem, the small place deep inside us, will come something that remakes our personality, that becomes the ruling factor in our lives, the new motivation and guiding principle, reigning supreme.

Go to the place of psychic history where your deep woundedness continues.  It is at that place you will experience healing, transformation.

Go down to Bethlehem.  Let yourself experience afresh your deep woundedness so it can dissolve and make room for new love as your spirit is reborn.

Salvation

Matthew 1:21 “you are to give him the name Jesus”

Joseph is told in the nativity story to name Mary’s son Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins.”  A look at the origin of the name Jesus gives us an even larger idea to consider.

Jesus is the Latin form of the Greek which is a transliteration of the Hebrew Jeshua which means “Jehovah is salvation.”  What a huge concept.

“Jehovah is salvation.”  More than any one individual performing an individual action.  More than a personal or communal belief system.  More than the performance of certain rituals proclaiming what we believe.

“God is salvation.God is the essence of all we need in order to experience our spirits made whole, the passageways to communication cleared and open.  To be with God becomes the goal, the necessity.  To be with God makes us who we were intended to be.

Hungry and Humble

In the Nativity story Mary’s Magnificat included two states of mind.  In her monologue praising God after the angel has visited her, Mary talks of God’s having lifted up the humble and filled the hungry with good things.

This praise of God for His past deeds presents the idea that God can and will do the same again.

What must we do to become like Mary and receive God’s best gift, new birth?  Hunger and humility seem to be the answer.  Hunger not for physical food but for something more.  We may not even be able to identify what it is we are hungry for, but recognizing we are not just wanting something we don’t have but sensing that we are hungry and our hunger borders on a kind of starvation.

We need desperately to have this hunger satisfied.  And humility begins in that recognition.  Humility becomes full blown in the realization that we do not know what will satisfy our deepest hunger nor can we discover and produce that good thing.  When we admit our inability and are open to being served by something beyond ourselves, we have become humble.  The first step in being filled.

The Boy Child

Luke 1:31  “you will be with child and give birth to a son”

Of course the spiritual child born in you must be male.  It is the masculine part of us that needs to be transformed, made new.  The thinking, willful, decision-making part of us is the part that needs to be reborn.  And that is precisely the part of us that must give permission for something new to emerge in it.  It is the masculine free will that must will a new beginning.

The inner, creative, feminine knows all along what needs to happen and is more than willing to be the womb for this godchild.

Through the Holy Spirit

Matthew 1:18 “found to be with child through the Holy Spirit”

How is it that we become with child through the Holy Spirit, that Spirit that blows where it wills and is not constrained or detained?  How do we access this unpredictable, uncontrollable spirit?  This Spirit that comes from God, that is of the essence of God.

We must use the part of us that is uncontrollable, that comes from the essence of our personality, the center of what we know about ourselves.  We must evaluate where we are, not physically but metaphysically, and where we want to be.  Or perhaps we can’t envision where we want to be.  We just know we’re not at a good place, not filled with excitement about our life.  Somehow we need some new life.

That is the first step.