Dwell In Possibility (Christmas Meditation) …

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw a child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:7-11

 

Today I read that an estimated 250 children are born every minute, about four per second. Four distinct, beautiful lives arriving in the width of a breath. In the time it takes to blink, staggering potential is released—again and again and again. Right now. In this second. As you read these words, birth is taking place. Light is breaking in. Possibility is being born.

You don’t need to fully embrace Christian orthodoxy or even be a particularly religious person to embrace the dawn in every second, in the ways the planet is always being made new, and in the reality that we get to participate in it all while we’re here. Every day we open our eyes and greet the sun, we are gifted a Christmas miracle. You wake in and walk into this glorious new day—into the delivery room of the present. You have this entirely new, never to be repeated opportunity to bring peace and compassion into a space that so needs it. Hope is being born again with the light arriving. Today is a birth day. This is the greatest of good news.

John Pavlovitz from Low: An Honest Advent Devotional

 

And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer from God Is in the Manger

 

Asleep Too Long, We Need To Wake. Awake Too Long, We Need To Sleep.

We blink a thousand times a day. A thousand times a day the world goes dark. A thousand times a day we wake. We can’t escape this opening and closing. It’s a reflex we can’t control. Even as you read this, your eyes, along with your heart and mind, are blinking—opening and closing repeatedly, no matter what you do. It is part of being human.

Yet so much depends on which you see as home—being open or closed. Do you see life as one stream of light interspersed with nights of dark, or as one stream of darkness interspersed with days of light? Though there will never be an answer, what we believe about the nature of life matters. It lifts or burdens our days. So ask yourself, more than once, Is life one long miracle of feeling interspersed with moments of breaking? Do we repeatedly fall in our humanness from a never-ending light? Or is life one long painful breaking interspersed with moments of wonder? Do we struggle up from the unending dark briefly into glimpses of light?

― Mark Nepo from The Book of Awakening

 

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.
It is the Glad Season.
― Maya Angelou from Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

 

The One Who Came To Us As Light

Even as Advent calls us to honor the gifts of the dark, this season bids us recognize our ancient longing for illumination, and to celebrate the One who came to us as light. Amidst the shadows—some necessary, some horrendous—God beckons us to look deeper, to look more closely, that we may find the presence of the Christ who shimmers there. 

Jan Richardson from Through the Advent Door

 

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.
On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.
― Maya Angelou from Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

 

I Dwell In Possibility

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –
— Emily Dickinson from The Poems of Emily Dickinson

 

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.
― Maya Angelou from Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

 

Blessing To Summon Rejoicing

When the storm
has been long
and the night
and the season
of your sorrowing.
When you have seemed
an exile
from your life,
lost in the far country,
a long way from where
your comfort lies.
When the sound
of splintering
and fracture
haunts you.
When despair
attends you.
When lack.
When trouble.
When fear.
When pain.
When empty.
When lonely.
When too much
of what depletes you
and not enough
of what restores
and rests you.
Then let there be
rejoicing.
Then let there be
dreaming.
Let there be
laughter in your mouth
and on your tongue
shouts of joy.
Let the seeds
soaked by tears
turn to grain,
to bread,
to feasting.
Let there be
coming home.

— Jan Richardson from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

 

Creation is ongoing. The world begins anew each day. This is the miracle that makes not a sound, but which changes everything, if we can be quiet enough to feel it happen. When we can participate in this, we begin anew each day.
― Mark Nepo from The Book of Awakening

 

Christmas/Advent Journey

Wherever your path takes you, may today be a celebration of light — of hope, peace, joy, and love. Merry Christmas!

The story of Christmas is the story of God’s relentless love for us.
— Max Lucado from Because of Bethlehem

 

Christmas Day Meditations

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