The news that Christmas brings is this: That a child who comes into the world, however unconnected, however poor and insignificant, however unheralded, is a son or daughter of God. Is wisdom incarnate. Is Emmanuel, God-among-us. Is worth a great deal.
There lies the Good News of the Christmas archetype. It stretches the imagination to suggest it, especially in light of how many humans have been murdered by humans in the past centuries in wars and more atrocities.
But that is the lesson staring us in the face on Christmas: That every child is precious; counts; counts more than we can imagine. Every child is a unique face of God, a unique image of the Divine One who remains so often shy and hidden but who becomes manifest in creatures including the human creature, the helpless baby who will grow, hopefully into a compassionate adult.
Is such a story credible? Does it take more faith that we can muster in this hardened twenty-first century?
What are the implications of this lesson–for education, for example? Or for economics? For politics? For religion? For the media?
If every child is a son or daughter of God, a bearer of Divine Wisdom, what about every adult? Is this God-like-ness, this God-among-us, lost as we grow older? If so, why? If so, can we get it back? And how do we do that?
What would a society–or better a community–look like if we all committed to every human child and every human adult being an image of the living God? Being a “Buddha nature?” Or “another Christ?” Or the Shekinah or the Image of God in our midst?
These are challenging questions. That is why Christmas is not going away, no matter how woefully consumerist culture beats up on it; or sentimentalism tries to hijack it; or how stifling institutional religion fails to plumb its deeper meaning.
“We are all meant to be mothers of God,” the great mystic Meister Eckhart preached in a Christmas sermon six centuries ago. The news does not stop with our being a divine child but that we ourselves give birth to the divine child on a regular basis–in our children, in our creativity, in our work, in our citizenship, in ‘all our relationships.’
Standing up for children not yet born who will be inheriting a severely hurting planet, a climate emergency, an ocean becoming ever more acidic, extinction of millions of insects, bees, animals, plants, trees, forests, birds—this is not honoring the children. It is not Christmas. Making choices to do something about it? That is Christmas.
A Deep Christmas to us all.
See Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 99-101; 136-140. Matthew Fox, Meditations with Meister Eckhart, pp. 78-84.
Banner Image: Fatema Khatun, a 35-year-old Rohingya mother of four, was forced to flee to Kutapalong in Bangladesh to escape the violence in Burma. Burmese soldiers came to their village and set fire to their home, then shot her 18-year-old son dead as they fled. She then spent 10 days hiding in the forest with her 4-month-old baby, walking to cross the border into Bangladesh. Photo by UK Department for International Development on Flickr, 2017.
Queries for Contemplation
What are the implications for ourselves and our culture and our future as a species were we to understand Christmas as the birth of wisdom and God-like-ness among us?