I have written a number of Christmas cards through the years. One and all have said, “Merry Christmas to you.”
Whether you are a believer or an atheist does not matter to me. What matters to me is that the story of Christmas from my perspective is about an inversion in the world. The world is actually at odds with this story, you know.
An unwed teenaged mother is told that her child will be set for the rise and fall of many. She is told that the poor will be filled with good things, and the rich sent empty away. When her son is born, the stars aligned and strangers (foreigners), and illiterate shepherds, show up to see for themselves a baby born in a barn (more likely a cave), in the midst of creatures not human. If you have not been raised on a working farm, you might not understand how primitive this can be.
Shortly into the story, a mean-spirited politician enters. Like all politicians, this one wants to keep his job and keep as many natives as possible from becoming restless. Hearing something about this child from the foreigners causes him to be gripped by obsessive fear. The politician is afraid that this little boy will grow up and have him voted out of office. Politicians who are threatened the world over often react in a vicious manner. So, the family in our story, hearing about the threat, goes on the lam and become refugees. They are afraid of their own leader. As the story goes, they have a right to be afraid. But even politicians do die, and when this politician dies, they return home and live their lives.
Stop the press! This Christmas greeting sounds political. It is calling for an inversion, a redirection, of the way things are done. The poor become rich. The rich are sent empty away. It reminds me of the crazy thing the grown boy said, “The last will be first, and the first last.” He also said, “The meek will inherit the earth.” Strange, no?
Well, enough said. I know I am preaching to the choir. Just one more thing he said at the end, “Forgive them all; they have no idea what they are doing.” I add in my own words, “even though they do not deserve it.” I do love this story even though I am one of those that often need the forgiveness.
This year I wish you and me a Conscious Merry Christmas. I want to welcome a societal inversion, empowering those most needing it. I want to believe that this year, all those marginalized by poverty, disease, mental illness, fear and loathing, or any heartbreaking loss, will be lifted up. It is to the powerless of the earth that this story should appeal as well as those of good heart and conscience. The story tells us what the outcome will be. I don’t see it today, but I continue to believe it is coming. Merry Conscious Christmas!
If you are available Sunday at 10 a.m., I will be talking about Mary’s proclamation of the Great Inversion in the words of the Magnificat.