More and more people are struggling to find spiritual enlightenment during Christmastime. With everything there is to accomplish and of course everything there is to purchase, wrap, bake, write, eat, and if there’s time, enjoy, Christmas spirituality is becoming a sleeping beauty under the skirt around the Christmas tree.
Every spiritual journey is unique to their own experience. Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, Christmas lends itself to spiritual growth and development for the very basic nature of the holiday meaning. Whether you look at the origination of Santa Claus (which is much more spiritual than most people believe) or you focus on the birth and life of Christ, Christmas is a time for spiritual rebirth.
Most of us are quite familiar with the Christmas story, where Mary and Joseph searched throughout the inns and establishments looking for a suitable place to give birth to the baby Jesus, and ultimately found themselves in a barn. Jesus was born and his birth was heralded far and wide as the son of God. Depending on where you are in your spiritual journey you may take each word of the Christmas story verbatim, give it credence to its basic extent, or believe the whole thing is a fairy tale that could have never happened. Either way, Christmas Day we celebrate the birth of a man who wandered the earth reaching out to the lonely, the sick, the disturbed, and the impoverished and tried to teach them how to live in the light.
That light is quite obviously eternal, as we all still look for the light. We rely on that light in our darkest moments and we celebrate the light as it brings its power into our lives. We choose to recognize it as God or we assign it another name, but nearly all of us do it. This is the light, the spirituality, that is Christmas. This is the guidance that once a year we are fortunate enough to be able to embrace, celebrate, and walk in.
As we offer our families Christmas nourishment and provide them with the devotion of peaceful offerings, we are all exuding that Christmas light just a bit stronger, and with a little more commitment.
We are, of course, human. Each of us has Christmas seasons that perhaps we can not feel or emit the light nearly as strongly as we have in other years. Those Christmases that pass without the strength of light, we feel the absence of that presence very strongly. Those with a stronger faith tend to feel the absence of the light much less often, but it can happen to anyone. Sometimes the stress and occurrences surrounding Christmas can cloud that light just enough that if we’re not careful we may miss it completely.
Taking time out to soak in the light every day during the Christmas season can help ensure its presence throughout the entire process. Quiet spiritual communications in the early dawn hours or the quiet of the night can ground us and center us in that light, and keep it as part of our everyday actions, thoughts, and feelings.
The story of Jesus, and the life that he lived on earth, has powerful meanings and messages that can apply to every day living. Many of us missed it. Often as children the concepts were not passed down to us in a manner that we could really grasp. We sat through classes we didn’t quite understand and we sort of understood the idea behind prayer, but we were never really taught the emotional connection we could have through a spiritual life. We memorized the prayers and stories, and we even understood that Christmas was in effect, “Jesus’ birthday,” but we each reached a point in our adulthood where we could determine for ourselves where religion and spirituality would land in our daily lives. Those of us who chose to go without have discovered that we feel the absence in our lives more distinctly at Christmastime than any other time of the year. The absolute most wonderfully very perfect aspect of this is that we never really missed the boat. It is always there for us to climb on board and join others in the spiritual experiences, however that applies to us directly.
Christmas is our annual reminder that the light we choose to embrace on whatever level we choose to embrace it, is there for us, burning as brightly as ever. For those of us who don’t feel we give enough to our spiritual health, Christmas is the perfect opportunity to explore our spirituality. For those of us who celebrate the light every day, Christmas provides us with the most powerfully explosive light to celebrate that we can ever imagine.