O Holy Night A Short Reflection for Christmas Eve
It is said that the baby Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes. The universe is wrapped in swaddling clothes, too. It is God's love.
There are many kinds of night. Some are sad and terrifying; we must be honest about their crucifying power. These nights wound the world and wound God, too. The nights are deaths after which we can only hope for resurrections.
But some nights embrace us with a holy light, coming from a placeless place within yet beyond the stars. Christmas Eve is among them. We feel a silent Night deeper than all nights and filled with tenderness and love. Amid these feeling we are touched by God's listening and empathy, by that side of God which shares in the joys and sufferings of all living beings, everywhere, with a tender care that nothing be lost. Whitehead calls it a Harmony of Harmonies.
Mary the Mother of God
The Harmony of Harmonies is the Light of the universe. It is not all powerful but it is all loving. Mary, the mother of Jesus, understood the Light in a special way. After all, she was a mother of God. A writer for this website, Reverend Teri Wooten Daily, says that we are all meant to be mothers of God, each in our way. We are mothers to the degree that we are responsive to fresh possibilities -- initial aims from God -- that both energize and guide us into lives of goodness and mercy, kindness and compassion. When we live in these ways, we are helping God become born in the world.
O Night Divine
But the Light is more than guidance. It is also an embracing Light, womb-like in its splendor. It comes as a gift, an embrace, that cannot be contained by any particular form and that we do not earn through any kind of achievement. It is a blanket of tenderness filled with goodness and mercy, yet pervading the universe. It is said that the baby Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes. The universe is wrapped in swaddling clothes, too. It is God's love.
King of Kings
As we feel the divinity of a Night Divine we anticipate a release from bindings of sadness, of injustice, of self-hatred, of fear, of anxiety, of guilt. The bindings of any kind of oppression. "And in his name all oppression will cease."
The silence of the Holy Night gives rise to the hope for a clear blue morning. "For yonder comes a new and glorious morn." Images of a baby, lying in a manger, come to mind. We can focus on one baby but all babies are included in this baby, and this baby is included in all babies. Let images of a child, lying in a manger, represent all innocents and all innocence, including that within each of us.
As we awaken to this freshness, we may have a need to kneel down, to adore something within the holy night that is so free, so innocent, that words cannot suffice. "Fall on your knees and hear the angel's voices."
The freshness has a power and glory far, far beyond the powers of cruelty and oppression, sadness and tragedy, fear and violence. It is more powerful than any dictator, any cruel emperor who tries to wield power over the world and call himself King. The real King is the love revealed a King of kings lying in a manger.
Fear not, say the angels. You can belong to any religion or no religion and still enjoy the thrill of hope for a new and glorious morning. And if the spirit moves you, there's no problem in kneeling in adoration, for a moment or a lifetime, in the presence of a baby lying in a manger.
There is no problem with praying in his name, either. Let his name be an abbreviation for all names. In Christ's name can be shorthand for in Mei's name and in Janet's name and in Julio's name and in Gregory's name. It can be shorthand for all names, all people, in whom the light of love shines. And shorthand for all who suffer, too.
Walk in his footsteps and share in the Light. The stars are shining brightly.