"Jesus announced the presence of what he called 'the kingdom' or the 'reign'of God. He kept saying 'it is like' or 'it may be compared to' and he uses stories, parables, metaphors so that we could recognize what was obvious to him but not so obvious to us."
Rohr goes on to mention that we might think of "the kingdom" or the "reign of God" as the big picture. I would call it cosmic consciousness. It is like an awareness of the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part when we are able to "see" things in their true perspective.
At Christmas time we, as a culture, seem to be able to step back, get things in perspective and acknowledge that what is important in life is fellowship, peace, joy, and awesome contemplation of a world full of angels, grace, and love. The world, in short, is a place of enchantment and we have lost during the year our child like wonder. Jesus says that unless we recapture this childlike wonder we can't enter the kingdom. Indeed he is right.
Last year, I found a Christmas card that described the three stages of human life:
We believe in Santa.
We don't believe in Santa.
We are Santa.
I think the same model may be true of our spiritual development.
We believe in baby Jesus and God.
We don't believe in the divinity of Jesus and the existence of God as we did as a child.
We are part of God.
This Christmas how will I practice my awareness that I am part of God and share that awareness with others? The best ways I know is to extend my peace, compassion, and reverence for the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
The deeper meaning of Christmas is not that baby Jesus was born into the world, or that Santa comes on Christmas eve, but that we live in the kingdom created by the Spirit of Life if only we can step back and appreciate it and consciously continue the work of creating the universe.
At the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship we have gathered together a group of people who are intent on creating a better world not just at Christmas but all year along. We support each other in our growth and development and fall into love more and more with each meeting. BUUF is a special church that is committed to making the kingdom manifest in multitudinous ways. Please join us in spirit or in person as we continue our lives together.
Water communion in September, 2010