ask me, Now that you're into "new thought"
or an updated form of theology, how can you still celebrate
a religious holiday like Christmas?
I've maintained that Christianity is a myth, which means
that the story it tells is a metaphor. The story is
true; it's just not literal history. As a metaphor,
it has a valuable message for us. Let's examine the
elements of the story for their symbolic meaning.
parents in the story are compelled to make a journey
from home, a place of familiarity and comfort, to
an alien spot where there is no certainty or security.
carry within themselves a new spiritual being which
is not conceived from the physical world.
new life is excluded from the company of the crowd
and is consigned to an ignoble spot where it is out
new being is vulnerable and in need of nurture and
angels are aware that something significant has happened.
nature takes note of this event and marks it by means
of a star.
of all classes are attracted to this new birth and
what it signifies.
a way, the story of Jesus birth can be seen as the story
of Everyman. Each of us is journeying toward our encounter
with the divine. Our conversion to a spiritual worldview
begins with a sense of discomfort about our present
position, a compelling need to move on, often to a place
that is lonely and misunderstood by others. The new
being which emerges from within us is not something
the world has modeled for us; it comes upon us by the
initiative of the Holy Spirit. It may leave us exposed
and vulnerable, and it will certainly result in our
being turned away from the warmth and light of the institutions
where most people live. But in Luke 15:10, Jesus tells
of the joy that the angels in heaven experience when
one person becomes aware of God's place in his or her
life. And the place where we find ourselves at the end
of our journey is filled with its own light, and it
becomes a beacon to those who are searching for that
Christmas story speaks to us in very clear terms. Because
of the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, that which
is born of us will be called a child of God. And it
will become a light to the nations. A Blessed Christmas
to each one of you.
John W. Sloat 2005