This is the place Jesus was born.
This is a day that the Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus, the Christ, a holy man. He came into the world to bring an immense light for understanding and compassion. There were signs in the stars and all around about the impending birth as there are for such souls. He was here on a special mission, to remind us we are nothing without love, to show us that we are healers, are capable of miracles and are here to illuminate the world. Jesus was born to a poor family of refugees, to a mother who was pregnant outside of marriage and a man who loved her despite her social transgression. His path from birth to death was a challenge.
In each newborn the light is unimpeded. We feel it and see it and that is why we always gather around these tiny bringers of hope. Each of us brings light to carry it along the path for the illumination of our footsteps, and to help each other. We have the choice of either growing it or covering it. We cannot destroy it.
As a child I read the Bible through twice. Jesus spoke only words of compassion, peace and understanding. In his words I do not remember reading rules or doctrine for separation and exclusion. I did not read any urging to hate anyone because of race, class, sex or sexuality or because they came to understanding through a different doorway. Yet Christ’s words have been used to take over countries or peoples (“in the name of God”, “God gave us this land”), to oppress, force religion, to destroy cultures, languages and other ways of knowing the light. (I left an evangelical church when I was thirteen because I could no longer bear the hypocrisy of racism and misogyny. That is my own path. Everyone is different. Jesus words and path still inspire me. We are all sons and daughters of the Maker of Light therefore we are brothers and sisters.)
I believed then as I do now that Jesus was a being of light sent to remind us we are beings of light. So was the Buddha, Mohammed…
This morning as the light comes up over a day that celebrates the birth of this Jesus may we honor and grow love or compassion for each other, beyond religion, beyond any separation politics. In Mvskoke language the word for this concept is vnvketckv. In Navajo language it is hozhoo. In Hawaiian it is aloha. May we forgive ourselves and each other, love ourselves and each other as we make a new world, beginning this day, with each other. We are each born of holy beings. When we took breath in, we promised.