I love the night sky. Ever since a child. When little I used to think that the brightest star of the night was there just for me. I never called it my North Star and later I discovered I was right for it was never the North Star I gazed upon but instead Venus—which is a planet and not a star at all.
As an adult, I like to think that that star the Wise Men followed across the desert to a manger in a stable in a faraway land was not a star at all either—but instead Venus. Which in both Greek and Roman mythology and as a planet to boot represents love.
That to me is the true message of Christmas and Jesus of Nazareth’s advent upon this realm—love.
That is what I celebrate during this season. The hope for peace on earth and goodwill toward man and grace for all. Only I hope it is not just a seasonal thing but a yearlong gig. But as we know, that has yet to become a reality. Sometimes it seems to be an impossibility. I have no delusions it will happen in my lifetime, probably not even during my son’s; but perhaps it will during the lifetimes of his children, or grandchildren. However, as of now this seems to be a fantastical ideal best left for movies that we watch once a year, such as A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life.
So where do we start? How? Is it even feasible? I say it is!
In Romans 8:28, St Paul said, “All things work together for good for those who love God.” Growing up as a PK I’d heard this often but hadn’t given it much thought until decades later when I faced a near-death experience. My mentor at the time, and perhaps one of the greatest theologians and human beings I’ve ever been blessed to know, tossed that quote my way. With an addendum. He said, “Alison, St Paul didn’t say all things were good.”
Now yet another decade later and while penning my LOI Xmas Eve blog and since the editor in me runs deep, I’m making a tweak. I know only an idiot would edit the words of the Bible on Xmas Eve, but apparently that shoe fits with regard to me—and the essence of who I am and what I feel I am called upon this earth to do. So if you don’t hear from me next week you know that I didn’t just get coal in the stocking. I got a lightning bolt from heaven as well.
Well, here it is—and it’s a code I try to live by—All things work together for God for those who love to do good. Because God has many faces. Many ways of approaching us. Many ways of making his or her presence felt here on earth. I truly believe in my heart that there are many paths to God and that God is only at the core essence of it all—love… pure unconditional love.
I truly believe that living in accord with good is living a life not only well lived but one sanctioned and blessed by God.
Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Native American, Shinto, Hindu, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist….doesn’t matter. If you love your fellow man as yourself; if you live in accord with the Golden Rule; if you do unto others as you would have them do unto you…if you try to live in this world with the premise of making it a better world, then I believe you are living and loving by the code of all things work together for God by doing good in this world.
It’s a simple code. It costs nothing and anyone can do it. With ease.
All it requires is honesty, tolerance, respect for all things, charity, hope, faith, peace and love. It is living by a code of personal integrity—one that says with daily deeds and words—all things work together for God for those who love doing good, regardless as to who and what your religion may be.
We can do it. If we’d only put our differences aside and try.
Merry Christmas All and may Christmas dwell in your spirits, lives and hearts all year long! And most of all, follow your star for if you follow it with love and integrity in your heart it will lead you precisely where you seek (and are meant) to go. And THAT for me is the meaning of Christmas!