A Christmas Reflection for comment


Dear Member of the one human family,
I hope you might value, and even amend, this exploration of the value of that humble birth in a stable.

The blank verse below was triggered by this online comment: “Every year Black Friday and Cyber Monday are dangled in front of us like toys on a five-year-old’s list to Santa. We have been conditioned by GDP growth fanatics to think we need the newest shiny thing, but no one talks about the disastrous cost. They don’t tell us that the production of all these new things means the pollution of our water supplies, the loss of our green spaces and species, the acceleration of climate change, and the noise and congestion that come with a growing GDP.”                 

A Roman writer once deplored the declining heroism of Romans after the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire: “Two things only the people anxiously desire — bread and circuses.” The populace were kept happy and subdued by the marketing of tempting foods and staging huge spectacles. Jesus, as a unique example of incarnation challenged this. It is always so fascinating what each of us brings to our conversations, a text, an idea, or work of art, a creative practice. We see different things, pull at different threads. So only by being genuinely attentive to each other can we hope to approach more inclusive apprehension. We are each a unique example of incarnation, the embodiment of potential creative energy.

God’s ever flowing creativity as unconditional love,
is the energy in each of us that helps us to evolve.

Wherever you invest your life,
it will have potential in life’s larger movement
contributing to the birth of something new.
Within whatever career we each follow,
we need to embrace the long view
and find the deep current, the infinite flow.
Our whole human purpose relates to understanding
love as a prime impulse that we can acknowledge
and consciously act upon.

We only understand this in pursuing it,
even through the global hazards now confronting us.
When we truly understand the reality of incarnation,
this natural fleshing with potential creativity,
our politics, our anthropology, our economics,
and our movements for justice and peace, will all change.
This inspirited purpose is the interpretive key to everything.
Unloved people do bad things.
Loved people do good things. It is that simple.

Whatever this new emerging consciousness or meta-movement is,
it is bigger than any single religious interpretation.
It reminds us that the provenance of the word religion lies
in the thrust to make all laws and all ligaments an integrated whole.
This perception of evolving life is an invitation, perhaps even an ultimatum,
to all religions, all economies, all educational and political systems,
all arts and trades, all sciences and technologies, just all material life.
It is, we might say, a spiritual movement that encompasses everything’;
enabling us to mature beyond our nurturing preparation.
Mystics have long known that the God revealed in that stable,
to whom we call in times of need, is actually within us.

This means finding our creator, God, within and around ourselves.
Such is the meaning of incarnation for each of us and all life on earth.

Peter Challen – Christmas 2022

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