“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” – Luke 2: 1-7
Reading the story of the birth of Jesus stirs our hearts and spirits because we sense that we, too, can participate in the birth of Christ. And we think that just maybe, we can do our small part to make sure that there is room for the birth of the holy child.
The Christmas story is not only about the birth of Jesus, it is also the story of our own spiritual birth; the birth of our understanding that our real self is not the self the world has made; it is the self that God has made; our Christ self. In the story of the birth of Jesus, there was no room in the inn, but, if we are willing, and if we make room in our hearts, Christ can be born in us, as us.
This is an inner celebration of Christmas that transcends the boundaries of religion, race, gender, and all the many differences that we have created to separate ourselves from God and the rest of life. Making room means to move into a relationship of unity with God in creation and in ourselves. It means to participate consciously in the transformation of our awareness. It means to open ourselves to the truth that everyone and everything belongs to the body of Christ.
Is there room in you for your Christ Self?
Mother Theresa frequently quoted Galatians 2:20 to say that Christ lived within her. “I live no longer, I, but Christ lives in me.” She went on to say, “Christ prays in me, Christ speaks in me. Christ looks through my eyes, Christ speaks through my words, Christ works with my hands. Christ walks with my feet, Christ loves with my heart.” Mother Theresa made room for the full maturity of Christ within her.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Let us take our bloated nothingness out of the path of the divine circuits.” This means to allow our awareness of the Higher Self – the Christ – have its way in us, to let God be God in us. Each day brings us a multitude of opportunities to make room within ourselves for our Christ Self. Each time we do, we make room for our realization that Christ is our selfhood and the selfhood of all. This happens in each moment when we choose love instead of fear, in each act of kindness, each time when we see Christ in someone or something instead of our judgments and assumptions. Each moment that we choose to think and act from our higher self, we make room for the birth of Christ in our awareness. And just as the Christ child grew to maturity, so, too, will our Christ self grow to maturity within us.
The Cosmic Christ
Joel Goldsmith once wrote that the spiritual truth of Christ could be stated in just four words: “God is, God as.” God lives; God lives as us. We have come to the time in human history when our celebration of the birth of Christ must be expanded to include ourselves and all of creation. The Cosmic Christ is a term used by Teilhard de Chardin, Richard Rohr, and other spiritual leaders to wake us to the truth of our unity with God. The Cosmic Christ includes all; Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, everyone. It also includes all life on our planet and the planet itself. What a different world this will be when all of us make room for the Christ self within ourselves and begin to participate consciously in creating the world that God has in mind. This Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, let us remember that each of us is already chosen to give birth to the Christ as our Self. It depends only on our willingness to make room in our minds and hearts.
“God’s hope for humanity is that one day we will all recognize that the divine dwelling place is all of creation.” – Fr. Richard Rohr