Christmas Revisited – and some developing implications

The CaC (Richard Rohr) Meditation for today,19/12, reminds us eloquently of the significance of Christmas. It is pertinently related to some developing dialogue leading to bold propositions on the new mindset so urgently required of the human race between Rodney Shakepeare, Richard Nelson, Ellen Brown, and others; reference to which will follow shortly.
There is also a strong, probing, timely challenge to us all in a deeply questioning article [attached] – A New Formation – by Jenny Sinclair in Together for The Common Good. She ranges humbly and frankly over a rich spectrum of evangelical/ catholic/ ecumenical witness to which we should all try to relate. Good reading between the festive encouragements, while the demand for societal reconstruction mounts exponentially.
Yours in our covenantal, shared trusteeship.of this sacred planet.

What Are We Waiting For?

Father Richard Rohr describes how Francis of Assisi (1182–1226) shaped Christianity’s celebration of Christmas.

In the first 1200 years of Christianity, the most prominent feast was Easter, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Around 1200, Francis of Assisi entered the scene, and he felt we didn’t need to wait for God to love us through the cross and resurrection. He believed God loved us from the very beginning and showed this love by becoming incarnate in Jesus. He popularized what we take for granted today, the great Christian feast of Christmas. But Christmas only started being popular in the 13th century.

The main point I want to make is the switch in theological emphasis that took place. The Franciscans realized that if God had become flesh and taken on materiality, physicality, and humanity, then the problem of our unworthiness was solved from the very beginning! God “saved” us by becoming one of us!

Franciscans fasted a lot in those days, as many Christians did, and Francis went so wild over Christmas that he said, “On Christmas Day, I want even the walls to eat meat!” [1] He said that every tree should be decorated with lights to show that that is its true nature. That’s what Christians around the world still do eight hundred years later.

But remember, when we speak of Advent or waiting and preparing for Christmas, we’re not simply waiting for the little baby Jesus to be born. That already happened two thousand years ago. We’re forever welcoming the Universal Christ, the Cosmic Christ, the Christ that is forever being born in the human soul and into history.

Franciscan sister and theologian Ilia Delio invites us to consider Advent as a time to wake up to God’s incarnate presence:

The word Advent comes from the Latin adventus meaning arrival, “coming.”. . .

[But] if God has already come to us, what are we waiting for? If God has already become incarnate in Jesus what are we waiting for? And I think that’s a really interesting question. . . .

We’re called to awaken to what’s already in our midst. . . . I think Advent is a coming to a new consciousness of God, you know, already loving us into something new, into something more whole, that we’re not in a sense waiting for what’s not there; we’re in a sense to be attending to what’s already there.

But the other part I think is that we can think of Advent as God waiting for us to wake up! You know, as if we’re asleep in the manger, not Jesus! Jesus is alive in our midst. . . . What if we’re in the manger and God is already awakened in our midst and we’re so fallen asleep, we’re so unconsciously asleep that God is sort of looking for “someone [to] get up and help bring the gifts into the world?” . . .

Let’s awaken to what God is doing in us and what God is seeking to become in us. — 

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