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.

“Mother Love” Image by Brian Odwar from Pixabay

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.

Since 2015 Dr. Alison Thompson has volunteered as a paramedic in Greece rescuing refugees fleeing ISIS, from resuscitating children to treating bullet and torture wounds. Photo by Chris Morrow on Wikimedia Commons

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?

“Families Belong Together” rally, San Francisco, 6/30/18, attended by thousands of people, from Latinx to Muslim to Asian-Americans. Photo by Fabrice Florin on Flickr

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.’   

An artist works on a sand sculpture depicting drowned Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi near Bhubaneswar, India. | AFP-JIJI. Uploaded to Flickr by FreedomHouse.

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?

Recommended Reading

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.

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1 thought on “The Christmas Archetype, Part 2”

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    I especially love your questions and comments in our Post for today. All are truly good questions, but these today particularly resonate with me at my age in life (87 in Feb.). Keep them coming, and I’ll continue posting my responses when I feel they are worthy of your wonderful input into all our spiritual life in these times. We humans have a challenge “out there” whether we stop to acknowledge it or not!! Where do we go from here in Our Creator’s cosmos?? Where do we humans scrap Planet Earth as a useless and no longer needed tool that we’ve used to get us off ground zero and OUT into SPACE at the gateway to the Cosmos??

    This is all I can conjure for now. It’s early in the a.m., and I believe I’m more of a p.m. critter. We’ll see about that, won’t we?? Happy and Safe New Year, Rev. Matthew. Stay well and healthy wherever you are, and out of all danger to the Body and Soul if possible. Peace. Amen.

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