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A Merry Christmas for Anyone

December 24, 2010

I’ve been hearing a lot of Christmas music this week, and was thinking about the number of beautiful songs inspired by Jesus. Whether Christian or not, I’m sure there are many out there who love these songs.

What does Christmas mean to you?

I would bet that if you ask that question to 100 different people, you would get 100 very different responses.

There are committed Christians who believe that Jesus is their Savior, that God became human, and was born of a virgin mother to redeem humankind. There are those who believe in the spirit of Christmas, that it is about love and giving and relationships. There are many who are not able or willing to celebrate Christmas because of their circumstances or beliefs. There are those who are disillusioned by Christmas, by the materialism that often overshadows the original meaning of Christmas. There are those who are lonely, without meaningful relationships, and experience sadness at Christmas.

I, for one, was brought up celebrating Christmas as a Catholic Christian, attending Mass and being with family. I have not experienced loneliness or lack at Christmastime. My beliefs have evolved over the years and, this year, I will celebrate with my family, but not in a church home. I have been thinking a lot about what Christmas means to me this year and, I think, there is a way of seeing Christmas that could resonate with just about anybody.

Whatever you believe about Jesus, God or not, real or not, the person of Jesus is pretty amazing. His whole life was about love and forgiveness, and he seemed to have a mystical connection with life and God, however you see God.

I see a baby, born in the humblest of circumstances, with infinite potential. A being of pure light, whose purpose is already established, yet who has the option of fulfilling that purpose or not. In Jesus’ case, he did fulfill that purpose and he saw that light of pure potential in everyone and everything he encountered.

What if we were to see ourselves that way? What if we were to see everyone and everything else that way?

Would we experience the true meaning of Christmas?

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