I love Christmas. Almost all of it: the music, the parades, the lights, the greetings, the joy, the gifting, the trampling of shoppers, the annual paranoia of Fox News anchors—all of it. I love Christmas because I love Jesus, and I love Jesus because I love Christ, that awakened mind that reveals the unity of God, woman, man, and nature. (John 10:30).
That’s who Jesus is to me: a God–realized Jew. If Jesus has asked me instead of the disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16: 13-16), I would have smiled and said: you are Divine Wisdom knowing the unity of all life in, with, and as God. You are what each of us is and yet does not know ourselves to be: God incarnate. Sadly my answer never makes into the C.S. Lewis inspired trilemma that limits Jesus to either liar, lunatic, or Lord.
My problem with Christianity is that it teaches Christians to worship Jesus rather than to become Christ. Of course you might challenge me saying, “But that’s because you aren’t a Christian.” And I would respond, “That’s why I’m not a Christian!” If Christianity taught me to be Christ, to awaken to my truest Self and realize that all beings are manifestations of the singular Be–ing that is God, I would be drawn to it like a moth to a flame. But not being a Christian doesn’t keep me from loving Christmas.
For me, Christmas is the annual remembrance that each of us was born holy, that each of us a child of God the way a wave is a child of the ocean. Christmas celebrates our capacity to become fully God-realized (just as Good Friday reminds of the cost that realization demands, and Easter reminds us of the promise it contains). I look at the Christ child as the seed of God-realization present in each of us, and see in this holy day a chance to refocus my efforts at cultivating in me the mind that was in Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5).
What is this mind? I believe it is Chochma/Sophia/Lady Wisdom, the Divine Mother of all things arising in the Infinite Nonduality of God, and manifesting what the Taoists call the 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. She is the mind that knows the interdependence of all things. She is the love, compassion, justice that arises with this knowing, and She is the courage to confront the powers and principalities that oppose these things and this knowing.
Christmas is too important to be left in the hands of those who can see in Jesus only three options. Claim it for yourself, or better, claim it for your Self.