Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Throughout her life, our Mom would pay special attention to our birthdays, ensuring that we had our favorite dinner, cake (or sometimes pie) with candles, and when we were younger, presents at the foot of our beds when we awoke. Mom and Dad ensured that each one of their six children felt special on their birthday. And whether we lived near or far as adults, we welcomed the dinner invitation or phone call celebrating “Happy Birthday” wishes.
It’s almost Jesus’ birthday. And whether we believe Jesus is our Lord and Savior, our most important Teacher and Prophet, or a Man from Nazareth, we can celebrate the day because of the ideals He left with humankind – to love God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our might; … and we must love our neighbor as ourselves. He told us there is no other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:29-31, Luke 10:25-29, and Matthew 22:34-40.)
Not in the Mood
I had an interesting conversation with several of my friends recently. We discovered none of us were in the “Christmas mood” this season. It’s usually a time of joyous celebration, singing old and new carols, cooking, eating, exchanging gifts, and being with family and friends. Whether we were experiencing a general craving for Scrooge-like, self-imposed isolation, feeling the loss of a loved one, or discovering we couldn’t be quite as generous a gift-giver as we wanted, we could all agree this year had a very different feeling for us.
Something was missing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. And then I heard, with my “inner hearing,” my sister’s children singing the “Happy Birthday” song to Jesus in their 4-year-old voices. (They are currently in their 20’s!) Whether they actually sang this song as children or not, I’m not certain. They sang loudly and clearly in my mind, though – my own personal version of the herald angels singing!
And what were the glad tidings they brought? Perhaps, it is time for me to reframe the meaning of Christmas! Perhaps it’s okay to move away from extravagant decorations, from the shopping frenzy, from the seeming obligations to spend more and more each year, and share generously in another way. Perhaps generosity of the mind and heart might be in order.
A Different Kind of Love
“The Love Book” by John Randolph Price is a compilation of his writings on the “energy that overcomes every limitation.” In it, he instructs that love is the awesome force radiating from our True Nature, the cause behind all manifestation. He talks about the “old man’, who came to him in a dream many years ago and told him the greatest secret in the universe, which is:
“If you would only love more, all limitations in your life will vanish.”
This love the “old man” refers to is not love on the level of personality, but on the soul level. Price says Love radiating from the soul is not affection, sentiment or human emotion that seeks to please or possess. When our sights are fixed on the physical world, we cannot even grasp the love that will transform the world (and our individual lives). We need to lift up our understanding of love to the soul level to make dramatic changes in our world.
Price tells us that Love, in its highest aspect, is the force behind the Will of God, and the Action of the Holy Spirit. It is the Alchemy that transforms the consciousness of nations and individuals, bringing all aspects of our lives up to the Divine Standard of spiritual wholeness.
The First and Greatest Commandment
When asked by the scribe which was the greatest of laws, Jesus said the first and greatest commandment is Love. But not love as a fleeting affection or sentiment. The love of God by mankind is always expressed in and through the love of one for another. That means, when we recognize the “All-Loving Presence” of God as an individual, God will express Itself in our lives as happy, harmonious and loving relationships with the people, things and circumstances of our lives. As within, so without, or in other words, on earth as it is in heaven.
So join me this year as we reframe the meaning of Christmas by lifting up our level of intention and awareness to Love on the soul level. Let’s honor Jesus on his special day as we pour out that love with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind, and with all our might. Let’s share that love with everyone we know, whether we like them, or not. Let’s feel that love for everyone we read about in the newspaper or hear about on the news.
As we pour the Love of God through us into this world, we will realize that love really is all there is, celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.
Happy Birthday, Jesus!