Thursday, December 22, 2016
Christmas Sunday -- Elda Luisi Has Something to Say!
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, … the Prince of Peace.
At Christmas we celebrate the Incarnation of God, the divine inserting itself into the human that will spread like yeast and make all things rise. And what a time to celebrate this event which happened not only 2000 years ago but happens every day! What a time to celebrate that the people in darkness saw a great light! For me, it certainly feels like a time of great darkness and I struggle to see the light. It seems like darkness had a victory. And yet, here, at the celebration of Christ’s birth, we are told to rejoice, have faith, have hope, have love.
We are fortunate in the United States. Few countries have had the luxury of feeling that, no matter who was in office, the structure of government would protect a certain standard of human rights and dignity. Now we are not so certain. A man of erratic temperament whose rhetoric has been frightening is now the leader of the free world. How does the incarnation of Christ into our world, the one who will have the government on his shoulder, who is Wonderful, Counselor, the Prince of Peace figure in all of this? I think it is precisely in Faith, Hope and Love that we meet this challenge. I think that this is an opportunity to give more energy from our daily lives to meet the shadow in ourselves and in the other as Jesus did: with righteous indignation but also with compassion, with healing energy, with persistent prayer and with never giving up on wanting to connect. Jesus said to fear not because he had overcome the world. To me that means that no matter what we see around us that’s negative, we have to look deeper and connect to the eternal presence of the loving Divine that through us chooses life and not death. We have to open ourselves to that profound and powerful energy that will inspire us to renew ourselves on a deeper level than we have before. Jesus came to save us 2000 years ago and continues to save the world through us, through our passion and commitment to the truth of faith, hope and love – but especially love.
In my lifetime I have seen our society move from a general sense of human dignity being the highest value to sustain to money being the highest value to sustain. When I was a child, no one who had a smidgeon of self-respect would consider throwing someone out of a home in order to make more money if the tenant was responsible in their duties. That deterioration that started in the 1980’s where thousands became homeless continued to jobs whose contracts were no longer honored and no longer offered a sense of stability – all in the name of money. The stock market had to have its gain. And I am not against private enterprise or the stock market. I am saying that when our values were changed, these instruments of possible creativity and abundance were reduced to tools of money and power rather than increasing human dignity and creating wholeness on our earth. It is our values that must change – it doesn’t matter what the system is. And those values were taught to us from ages upon ages from all religions – Love God first and the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself. And we let this happen with little fight.
So, for me, this Christmas is especially poignant. It is celebrating the re-incarnation of the Christ in our world. It is a time to take heart in Jesus’ promise of staying with us always as we work to bring God’s light to all things in faith, hope and love. It is to value the vulnerability with which God came into the world. It is the inspiration that one has when gazing at the newness of a newborn, the sense of awe that life has recreated itself, the new possibilities that we inherently feel when we are with a new born. It is a time for our own renewal in and through the Christ child. Wonderful! Counselor! The Prince of Peace!