Wednesday, December 25, 2013

In Search for the Meaning of Christmas

It is interesting how the stories of our life and times form.  Are the events and stories meant to be understood literally, or are they symbols for us to discover a deeper meaning? 

Jesus constantly taught using parables.  These were meant for us to examine and to discover an underlying meaning for ourselves and its significance in our own life.  What if we were to examine the ultimate parable then- the way Jesus lived his life- would that reveal a deeper meaning? 

Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel,
Shall come to thee, O Israel. 

Emmanuel: 'God is with him'
Israel: 'He who struggles with God'

In our quest to find God in our life, we often look outside of ourselves.  In our collective ignorance we search for our salvation and freedom as if it is going to come from the outside in.  We become confused who we are struggling with, what we are struggling for. 

Are we struggling against others, against those who oppose us?  Are we struggling against God?  Are we struggling to find God anew?  Yet time and again in our struggle, we lose it, we separate ourselves from it.  So what is the struggle?

We are told Jesus is born in the town of Bethlehem, meaning 'the House of the Lamb'.  Lamb here could be interpreted as a sacrificial offering to God, but it could also be understood as an intentional offering to others.  In this sense, one is offering one's own body, speech and mind to the salvation and liberation of others. 

So Jesus, meaning 'Yahweh is salvation' was born in Bethlehem, by being an offering to others liberation.  Yahweh means 'I am', 'He who is', or 'to be'.  So salvation lies in He who is.  He who discovers this in himself gains the holy land, Jerusalem.  Jerusalem, meaning 'the ground of Shalem', Shalem meaning 'the morning star'- the dawn of awakening.

One who gains control of this sacred ground, Jerusalem- the ground of awakening, rules with full dominion over the promised land, Israel.  But the struggle is no longer strained by trying to control or gain power over the ground or things outside of oneself, the struggle is to embody the message of 'Jesus'- Yahweh is salvation.

The struggle is 'to be'. 

That is the meaning of Christ-mass, the Mass or 'divine worship' of Christ- the 'anointed one' symbolizing the presence of God.  

Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel,
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Rejoice!  Rejoice!  God is with him,
Shall come to thee, who struggles to embody the message of Jesus,
Who struggles 'to be'. 

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