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The Bible Christmas story provides rich symbolism and guidance for our own spiritual journey, whether Christian or not.
The symbolic interpretations below are my own.
I find profound meaning and spiritual guidance in
the Christmas story.
The first 2 years when I was disabled I felt so alone at Christmas.
Luckily though, I experience Christmas as a spiritual time. My sense of the spirituality of Christmas deepened through the 14 years I spent in relative isolation.
I celebrate the birth of Jesus. I feel the sense of preparation and excitement in Advent.
On Christmas day I feel a sense of my unity with people all over the world.
The Christmas message below was written when I was still bedbound with severe CFS/ME.
A friend told me how she found Christmas celebrations to be over-sweet
As I pondered on the conversation, I was excited to find the following words flow into my mind. I dictated them for her (I was unable to write due to muscle fatigue in my arms).
Inspired By Bible Christmas Verses
Christ represents innocence.
The birth of Christ is the birth of innocence into the world.
This birth takes place any time each of us opens our hearts and minds to God.
The Christmas story guides us to cultivate the qualities we need to allow the Christ to be born in us.
Mary represents the need for feminine qualities on the spiritual journey
Mary embodies the feminine qualities we develop in our relationship with God.
We learn to listen to the still small voice of our intuition.
We learn to trust and surrender.
We are willing to allow our spiritual self to be born.
We dedicate our lives to nurturing this self.
Nothing needs to be added
It is a virgin birth.
Nothing needs to be added for us to start this spiritual journey.
No outward interference is necessary.
No other man, or woman need plant the seed, or tend it to make it grow.
The seed is already inside us.
What we think of as ourselves is only the seed’s protective shell.
This shell allows its essence to be kept safe until we are ready to grow, break open the shell, shoot up, and head for the light.
We need to hear the still small voice that asks,
“Are you willing to let me into your heart and mind?
“Are you willing to let me grow in you, unsure of what you or I will become?
“Are you willing to let me push myself outwards, breaking your image of self – the self you have known before?
“Are you willing to risk your life for me?”
We need to hear this voice and to say “yes”.
The image of Mary is universally relevant.
There is no one who does not have this seed within them.
There is a part of all of us that remains ever virgin, ever pure, whatever we’ve done.
This part remains open to hearing this still small voice. This part of us says Yes.
“He had no union with her until she gave birth to a son”.
There is a time when we need to pull back from intense emotional and physical relationships to allow ourselves to concentrate on the spiritual journey.
There is no going back
Once we have said yes to God, there is no going back.
The seed has started to grow and things will never be the same:
if we carry our spiritual pregnancy to full term, we birth ourselves into a new life;
if we seem to lose our spiritual pregnancy, we experience enormous grief and dissatisfaction with the world we see;
if we abort it, we suffer guilt or grief over the loss of the joy we touched.
Space will be made
Just as there is no room at the inn, we may not be able to envisage how there is space in our lives to allow this spiritual growth to take place:
We don’t have time.
It doesn't fit in with how other people see us, or how we see ourselves.
We think we don’t have the necessary skills or qualities, or money.
None of this matters.
Just as a flower appears through the cracks in the concrete, so growth continues and finds its own way.
Once the baby is grown, it is born into the world.
Our spiritual journey moves from private to public.
God is now more visible in our lives.
The connection is easier for us to access.
Wealth and status are not necessary but are OK
The simplicity and poverty of the shepherds remind us that intelligence, wealth and status are not necessary to move forward on a spiritual journey.
Indeed, it is the shepherds who hear the angels’ message first.
It is the shepherds who are close by and do not need to travel far.
The relative poverty of Mary and Joseph also remind us that this is not a journey where we need
But equally, the wise men show us that wealth and status within the world do not prevent us from proceeding on this journey.
Flexibility on the Spiritual Journey
The wise men demonstrate the need not to have a fixed view of what we are looking for.
On arrival in Israel, they search out King Herod.
They seek the birth of a king and expect to find him in a palace.
When they do not find him there, they continue their search.
No disappointment is expressed,
and no gifts are withheld, on finding the king in a stable.
A long journey with times of darkness
The wise men demonstrate how a long journey may be necessary:
one where we may often be in darkness;
one where we need to keep focused on the often faint but bright light ahead that guides us on.
There is a stage when the times of darkness are necessary in order to see this light.
Follow your intuition
- the still small voice
The wise men leave a homeland where they are safe, rich and respected, to go on a crazy, uncertain venture to find a foreign king.
They act in a way that is not acceptable, that is not considered wise, and is certainly not considered safe.
They listen to their intuition, and are willing to follow signs in order to reach their goal.
Joseph equally demonstrates an ability to listen to his intuition and show a lack of concern for
people’s opinion or approval.
On finding his betrothed pregnant, he is willing to listen to the voice that tells him to go ahead and marry her, something that would have been shocking to those around him.
It is Joseph who later has the dream which bids him to take the child to safety in Egypt, thus avoiding the slaying by King Herod; and Joseph who has the dream that bids him bring the child back.
Human qualities are needed for the spiritual journey
Joseph shows us that an ability to follow one’s intuition needs to be combined with practicality. He illustrates the value of human qualities of tolerance, hard work and perseverance.
These qualities seem less exciting than the moments of insight on the spiritual journey, yet they are essential in providing us with an ability to operate within the world and be sufficiently accepted within it.
We need stability to explore a side of us that is less acceptable and predictable.
Without Joseph, there is a risk that the baby will never be born, or will be born and will die.
When we believe in our innocence and the innocence of everyone else,
when we say YES to the still small voice that speaks of that innocence,
something extraordinary is born in us that leads our life in a new and rich direction.
Christmas is a celebration that there is always hope, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.
We are innocent and we are loved by God.
I pray the spiritual Christmas prayer below for myself and for you.
Let it be Christmas for us every day.
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Bible Christmas verses appear in The Gospel according to Luke. Chapter 1, Verses 27-38
Bible Christmas verses appear in The Gospel according to Matthew. Chapter 1, Verses 18-2:23
There are no Christmas verses in the other 2 Gospels.
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Personal practical spirituality and healing. Spiritual poems, books. 14 yrs with chronic illness CFS/ME. Forgiveness exercises. Prayer. God’s love. Fear to Joy. Inner peace. Faith.
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