Christmas thoughts

(From last night’s mass)

Whenever we come to Christmas, I remember the words from the close of Rudolf Steiner’s Foundation Stone meditation:

At the turning point of time
The Spirit Light of the World
Entered the Stream of Earthly Being.
Darkness of Night had held its sway.
Day-radiant Light streamed into human souls:
Light that gives warmth
To simple Shepherds’ Hearts.
Light that enlightens
The wise Heads of Kings.

O Light Divine,
O Sun of Christ,
Warm Thou our hearts,
Enlighten Thou our heads,
That Good may become
What from our hearts we found
And from our heads direct
With single purpose of will.

That turning point of time, the hinge where time and eternity meet, is found in each of us. It is the hidden place, the original point, where the flame of our being bursts forth from the dark of the void, from the womb of mystery. As Angelus Silesius once wrote, if Christ is born in Bethlehem a thousand times, but not in us, then we remain unchanged.

Christmas is a cosmic event – the Light which lightens every person, which was in the beginning with God and through which all the worlds were made, now coming into the world in a new and renewing way. Christmas is also a historical/mythic event – the birth of Jesus from Mary, at a particular time and place. And Christmas is an ever living mystery in each of us, as the inner pattern of the cosmic, historical, and mythic events unfolds, hopefully, again and again.

In the words of poet June Jordan (later borrowed as a book title by Alice Walker), “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” The redemption of the world, the healing of the earth and her creatures, the future of humanity, is – at least potentially – here, in our hands.

As Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, all creation groans and travails in labor pains, waiting for the children of God to be revealed, for the Christ to be truly born in us. We know, as we read in 1 John, that we are even now the sons and daughters of God, and yet what we shall be as we grow in the likeness of Christ, as we become more and more partakers of the divine nature, is a great mystery. Holding firmly to the light of our deepest and truest being, and nourished by him who was laid as a baby in the feed trough of a stable, may we take further, trusting steps into that mystery this Christmas.

Holy and vulnerable God, be with us, strengthen us, as we take you into our hands in this sacrament.

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