Merry Christmas (No Matter Your Persuasion)

I was making fudge and listening to The Priests’ Christmas album, Noël, and I was filled with such contentment, despite the upheaval of the past few days.  I’m not Catholic, but that trio of voices is so beautiful that I do find them spiritually compelling.

I find Christmas spiritually compelling, too.  I am a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, which means that like other Unitarians before me (Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Paul Revere, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ee cummings, Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc.) I do not believe that Jesus was divine.  I do not believe that he was any more or less a child of God than the rest of us. I do not believe that he died for my sins.  I don’t even believe that he was born on December 25.  I’m not sure he’s not an amalgamation of a number of spiritual leaders.

All of that is immaterial.  Here’s what I love about the Christmas story and its pagan roots: I love the idea that, if something personified and sentient and omniscient existed, it could look down on us all, with all our faults and foibles, observing us in our best and worst moments, and see in us something worthy of salvation.  In the end, despite acts of violence and political strife and individual pettiness, we deserve longer days, perhaps so we have more time to strive for something better.  I have no idea what, if anything, comes after this life, but I like the idea that this Being would see in each of us something worth preserving for all eternity.

Whether Jesus was real or not, whether he died for our sins or not is, to me, immaterial.  (I know it is utterly material for some of you, and that’s cool.  This is just MHO.)  Jesus is the personification of our belief in our ability and worthiness to be redeemed.  We can be less than we wish we were, but in the darkest of times, we see the light within each other and ourselves, rise to love.  That’s worth celebrating.

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Paula is an author of historical fiction as well as a wife, mom, and teacher.
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2 Responses to Merry Christmas (No Matter Your Persuasion)

  1. Claudia says:

    It really is a cause for celebration. I saw someone on Facebook complaining that November/December are the only months people care about being and looking good. If two months out of the year can make you stop and think about the people you love and appreciate their light, that’s a good thing. In the spirit of light and love, here’s this quote I’ve always liked–I like to think the “God” bit can be whatever we want God to be:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    Happy holidays to you and yours from a pal in Washington 🙂

  2. admin says:

    I love that Marianne Williamson quote, too. Happy holidays to you, as well!

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