It has been said that when we deified the man Jesus, we lost the Christ
It’s the Christmas Season and billions of people all over the globe are getting ready to celebrate Jesus of Nazareth’s birthday. Presents, family gatherings, candle lighting services at church; the Christmas Story of the baby Jesus in the manger,the Virgin Mary, the 3 wise men and the shepherds all gathered to celebrate the birth of the Son of God. Its a great story, a major part of the culture of Western Civilization. But is the birthday of a man the real point of Christmas?
Did the Greatest Story Ever Told even happen? Almost certainly not, according to the foremost historians and Biblical Scholars using what we have learned from archaeology, modern carbon dating and the 135 new Gospels that have been found and translated. The story we love is a delightful legend.
What is the real magnificence of Christmas and why is it the most wonderful celebration of Love and Light on Earth?
The Greatest Story Story Seldom Told is that Jesus was about 3 years old on the date we celebrate Christmas and was born in July. There was no Roman Census. We know that as a historical fact since the Roman’s were the world’s greatest record keepers and valued order above all else. There is no way they would have millions of people all over the Empire on the roads in the dead of winter. This tale is a fiction created by Luke for the sole purpose of getting Jesus to Bethlehem so that he could create a link with King David. He was born in Nazareth which is why He is known as Jesus of Nazareth.
But that isn’t what is really important. The real meaning of Christmas is much more than a lovely but flawed legend, or a tale of Virgin Birth that has yet to happen.
Christmas is all about the entrance into human history of the Light of The World. The Creator has sent Christs at least 4 times in human history to bring light where only darkness and hate existed. A Christ is a human being (never a God) who is able to transcend his or her humanity and embody the love and light of God. That is what we mean when we speak of the “Christ Consciousness”. It is a mind set that does not merely believe in God but embodies the Mind of God.
A Christ is a person touched by Divinity, a person who has literally stretched out his or her hand and touched the very face of God. A Christ is a person who sees and feels and knows what other mortals do not. He or She knows to the marrow of their being that there is a Power for Good in the Universe and that every one of us can use it to enrich our lives and the lives of all those around us. This is the mental state that the Greeks called Gnosis….the knowing of the ultimate truth.
Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Master Teacher for the Western World; the Civilization built on the ideals and culture of the Greeks, Romans and the Renaissance. The Buddha was the Light of the East; Zarathustra was the Light of the Persians, Parthians and Medes. Each founded a teaching, a religious philosophy to be the rule and guide for living in the Light of God.
The entrance of The Christ Jesus into the 1st Century world heralded the end of the Old Testament “eye for an eye” and opened the door to the wisdom of the East which taught that what you resist shall surely persist. “Turn the other cheek” is is simply a way to practice the High Road, the path to Enlightenment. You cannot hurt a person who does not agree to be hurt. You may kill his body but never his Mind and Spirit, which are eternal. By turning the other cheek the Enlightened human is making a statement of Truth. The truth that the body is merely a vehicle and you may destroy it but the essence of the human experience may not be destroyed accept by vengeance and hatred from within.
Christ Jesus brought Light into a time of Darkness. Christ Jesus brought Love into a time when “might made right”. Christ Jesus brought tolerance and forgiveness into a world of bigotry, divisiveness and hatred. Christ Jesus brought us the seminal idea that there is a Universal God of all mankind. God is not tribal or petty.
Of all the Christs given to humanity to date, Christ Jesus has had the greatest impact on this planet. Muslims honor him as beloved of God and a Great Prophet. Hindu’s speak of the boy Jesus who traveled East to Enlightenment.
He brought a new way of thinking, living and loving. He was a true spiritual revolutionary. In many ways He was the first Religious Scientist (“as a man thinks, so he is”, “It is done unto you as you believe”) and the first Master Teacher to see the world as One.
He was the first to begin the journey toward a world that works for everyone.
As you open the presents, enjoy the Christmas Dinner and celebrate with those you love, think of Christmas as the anniversary of the dawning of Light, Love, Hope and Joy. Be immersed in the essence of the Christ.
Christmas is so much more than a baby’s birthday!
My your Christmas be as season of spiritual renewal, a recommitting to living in the Light of God, The Great Architect, the First Cause. May love and joy be your portion this day.
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota Florida Awakened Heart Center for Spiritual Living.