Blessing

Luke 2: 25-32

There was a righteous man in Jerusalem named Simeon.  He was told he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s anointed.  He went to the temple courts when the parents of Jesus brought him to do what custom required, to make a sacrifice to the Lord.

Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God for his eyes having seen the special child who would be a revelation to the Gentiles and a glory to Israel.

When we embrace our own godchild, we cannot help but praise God for birthing his essence into our conscious awareness.  We cannot help but want to be a blessing to all around us, and a messenger from God to people of all faiths.

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.

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.

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.

Room for a Baby

Sometimes babies are born in the most unusual places: a subway station, the back seat of a taxi, the corner of a crowded restaurant.  We never know where a baby might choose to make his appearance into the world.

The pregnant mother makes all possible preparations, packs a little suitcase for her trip to the hospital, or lays out all that will be needed when the midwife arrives.  A little nursery is made ready, a place for the infant to lie safe and warm.  If there are available funds, colorful decorations are hung to attract the infant once his eyes are able to focus.

But all the time no one knows exactly when the baby will decide to be born—or how much in a hurry he will be to get here.  Sometimes the mother has no time to travel to the clinic or wait for the midwife.  She is not able to make the baby postpone his appearance but rather must cooperate with this child who is eager to become a citizen of this earthly kingdom.  Babies generally have their own time-table and will not be thwarted in their determination.

The godchild within us is indeed one of those with a birthing mind of its own.  We absolutely cannot predict when God will bring our transformed spirit into our conscious awareness.  It is God’s secret, meant to reinforce his design and determination to have his way, to act on his own time schedule.  And it matters not whether we have made any preparations at all.  In fact, our ability to make any preparations is highly unlikely.  This birth is God’s surprise for us, the best Christmas gift ever, whether it comes on December 25 or any of the other 364 days available.

Ann Glover O’Dell

18 December 2017

Where is Your Manger?

“Fear Not!  I bring you tidings of great joy!”—tidings too good not to be true—tidings all about you—tidings meant just for you.

“For unto you”—into you—within you—is waiting to be born this day right here in the city where you reside, in the home where you dwell, in this life where  you live—your new bring—the holy babe that is the essence of God—the God-in-you that is your soul—birthed forth into your consciousness.

For within you this very day is the God child you always were, waiting to be born unto you

“And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the babe!”  What assurance!  We shall find our babe—no hesitation, no trepidation, no uncertainty.  You shall find the babe—you, each of you, individually, shall find the babe—the babe that is you—the real you.  There is no question about the outcome ifif you want to find the babe—if you follow the signs to the manger.

You shall find the babe, wrapped in swaddling cloths, wrapped very carefully in very special swaddling cloths—the protective, nurturing bands made especially for newborns, for warmth and security, swaddling cloths that only you can provide, swaddling cloths that only you will know how to provide, swaddling cloths that will be  your top priority to provide for this new being which is the real you.

You shall find your babe lying in a manger.  Lying in a manger—a rough unfinished bin—an unswept stable—might we say the unredeemed depths of your being?  Lying in a manger—not just any manger—your manger, your rough bin, your unswept stable, your unsanctified depths.

And this will be a sign for you—you will find your babe lying in a manger—a place not far from here, in a place only you can find, in a place God is leading you to find, in a place you shall find.

Where is your manger?  Your rough bin? Your unswept stable?  Your unredeemed depths?  Just listen.  Listen and look with the ears and eyes of the heart.  Listen for the ache that stirs deep inside you, the longing to feel fulfilled, the yearning to be—to be glad just to be alive—to be free from anger, free from guilt—to be—a new being—fresh and whole and cleansed, to be real, to feel loved unconditionally.

Listen for the ache and go to that spot.  Listen for the message it has for you.  Heed its instructions and you will be led to the manger—your manger—where you shall find all you ever wanted to be—and more.

And then what happened in the story?  We’re told that those who went in search of the manger, after told by winged messengers not to fear, were transformed into laughing, dancing, shouting creatures who praised God for the miracle.  That miracle is you!

Ann Glover O’Dell

23 October 2011