A Musing at the end of the Year

by Cathy Haig

Have you ever promised yourself at Christmas that next year it would be less frenzied and more meaningful? For me, this is that “next” year. Maybe it is for you also during this pandemic year. Without all the Advent and Christmas choral activities and decorations in the church, I’ve had time to reflect on the event at the center of the celebration. For me it’s there that the essential, most profound Christmas therapy lies: in the meaning and mystery of Jesus’ birth.

I invite you now to reflect on some of the things that I’ve thought about. Christmas is more that a deadline or a day on the calendar. It is a journey of the spirit – from darkness to light, from chaos to peace, from separateness to the union of life.

I’ve seen more outdoor lights this year. In this season of lights, enjoy the external sparkle, and then let that outer radiance point you to the inner Light of Christmas that dwells in your own heart. Christmas is God’s feast for the senses! Observe its shimmering sights, inhale its aromatic smells, hear it resonating sounds on the radio, YouTube, and movies on TV. Let those sounds and smells flow to your inner being. Make time for your favorite expressions of Christmas lore and reflect on their changing meaning for you over the years. I remember one Christmas where we had the most magnificent dinner with friends. Everyone was full to the brim and it wasn’t until mum and I took the dirty dishes to the kitchen that we realized we had completely forgotten Christmas potatoes that were still in the pan on the stove. Everyone had a good laugh over that and remembered it years later.

When, in this pandemic the season’s commercialism becomes too oppressive, place yourself in spirit in the simple and earthly surroundings of Jesus’ birth. Remind yourself what really matters. During this time of enchantment and anticipation for children, reflect on the child within you. What does your inner child especially cherish about this season? What gifts would your child within like to have? If this Christmas season is not all it was in former years, remember that in God’s time all the joy and wonder of the past are present in this moment too. Happiness once experienced is yours forever. Christmas is God’s affirmation of the goodness of being human. Honour the sacredness of your own humanity by experiencing life deeply and passionately. Lastly in your Christmas therapy: feel and believe in the true meaning of Christmas – Divine love embracing the world, the longing for Infinity, and life infused with Mystery. Store the meaning in your soul all year long.

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