Special Christmas Edition of the Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter, Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service: In lieu of a Sunday service, this week, I am offering one in celebration of Christmas – the day LOVE was born into the world through the person of Jesus. LOVE is the message of Christmas, thereby transcending religious, political, personal agendas. How are we all called to follow Jesus’ example by knowing the love that we are and embodying it in our lives so that the world itself may be transformed?
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as people make merry when dividing spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames. For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!
Is 9: 1-6
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Lk 2: 1-14
Ps 96: 1-3, 11-13
TI 2: 11-14
The People Who Walked in Darkness…
… Have Seen A Great Light!
THIS is who Jesus is. Beyond any political, religious or even personal agendas one might have, Jesus came to know the light that shined within him and sought to reveal that light to others, thereby giving light to the world. The light that Jesus came to know was the light of his intimate connection with God that he experienced as Oneness. In this state of light, in this experience of Oneness, Jesus discovered the remedy to the perceived darkness of the human condition. Darkened by perceived separation and its resulting fear, humanity felt (and still feels), the human experience as if one is “dwelling in gloom.” Jesus learned another way and tried to teach this way to his disciples and all those who found themselves in his presence. And through his Spirit, Jesus continues in these attempts.
THIS is what we celebrate on Christmas – the birth of one who came to know the light and who is attempting to help us to also know this light. If we look at Jesus from this perspective, the celebration of Christmas transcends beliefs, dogma, doctrine and the perceived separation between religions. Jesus came to know the light and wanted all of humanity to also know this light so that we too might be free as he was free. Free to live in peace. Free to enjoy a life of meaning and fulfillment. And most importantly….FREE TO LOVE.
On the day that Jesus was born, which we commemorate on Christmas day, LOVE was born into the world. How are you, like Jesus, called to know this love and live it fully in your own life?
Spiritual Practices – Music Meditation
Christmas is either the busiest or the loneliest time of year – depending on our particular life circumstance. This Christmas, I invite us to transcend the busyness and the loneliness and set aside time to simply be with God – to celebrate the birth of Love into the world in the person of Jesus and in doing so, to give ourselves an opportunity to get a glimpse into this love. I can think of no better way to spend this time with God than through Handel’s Messiah. If listening to Handel’s Messiah doesn’t give us a glimpse into the love of God through Jesus, I can’t imagine what would! So…..for your Christmas meditation, I have provided two links…..a short link and a long link. The short link is a excerpt from Handel’s Messiah, the long link is the Messiah in its entirety. Set aside 15 minutes or two hours and 45 minutes to immerse yourself in God’s love as it was manifest in Jesus who some call The Christ.
Short Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS3vpAWW2Zc
Long Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r68P8TBWiIQ
As we celebrate Christmas – the day we commemorate the birth of Love into the world through Jesus and the invitation to accept Jesus’ invitation for us too to birth love into the world – I have only one thing to say about Authentic Freedom and how it relates ——
At the end of the day Authentic Freedom is about one thing and one thing only – LOVE. The love of God that dwells within us. The love of God that Jesus (and others) came to remember within himself. The love of God that we are called to remember, fully embody and life in the world.
How are you called to know Love within yourself and to be that LOVE in the world?
And one final music meditation – all we need is love!
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