Advent is the time in the church calendar before Christmas. It's the beginning of the great advent-ure. URE in this instance might mean "You are Energy" rather than URM – "you are mass". Einstein's equation E=MC2 explains the relationship of energy and mass as mass being "frozen energy" in essence. Jesus, God personified, came to demonstrate this all long before the word "spirit' became "energy".
Of course, given our nature, we killed God. We're fear based creatures who kill and preferably eat anything that moves and is strange to others. No wonder Jesus's principle message was "Do not be afraid". It was in his best interest to calm the human heart. Kids always put 'foreign objects' to their mouths. "We're biters".
The Sodom and Gomorrah story is that Angels came to earth and earthlings didn't treat them very well either. In fact they wanted to anal rape them. "Hey guys, look, there's some new guys in town. Let's go rape them." We are humans. Original sin speaks to our 'tendency' to screw things, and screw things over, as our "first idea'. We're not as adults responsible for our 'first idea' but for our 'second thoughts and our actions".
The book "Lord of the Flies" does a good job of speaking to our basic urges. Despite all the fuzzy cards and the occasional child being nice to something, we don't trust infants with the family crystal and certainly don't leave the new baby in the care of the two year old. Ask any cuddly kitten, sweet as they are, what children do to them.
I've heard the stories and rescued the animals and children from other children. We all havea mean streak. We also have a good streak. The war is within each of us. As Leonard Cohen even so aptly said, "There's a war between the ones who say there is a war and the one's who say there isn't." This is called 'original sin', this is the 'expulsion from the Garden of Eden'. In the Garden of Eden, or Innoscence, we didn't have to 'choose'.
And as adults we're in what Scott Peck (Road Less Travelled) called a kindergarden experience. We're still learning to be nice to the other kids in the playground.
However if God came today we'd put him in an electric chair and have to walk around wearing little gold electric chair pennants. The French would be kissing little gold guillotines.
Now I would love to say "they" would put him in the electric chair but the message of spirituality is that every day in our heart the Christ story is played out over and over again. Every day we have a events in our life where we can choose Light or Darkness. One of Bob Dylan's greatest songs was "You've got to choose somebody. Maybe the Devil or it may be the Lord, but you've got to choose somebody." Every time we make a choice, at the heart of that choice is a 'moral choice.'
Everyday, one day at a time, I'm given a choice to choose Jesus, and not be a fraid. Have faith, believe, or be scared and take revenge, vote for more 'security forces' or 'get even' or 'snap back' or I can do what Jesus said and did which is "return right for wrong." If someone gives me lemons, give back lemonades. If the authorities condemn me act as Jesus did, trusting in God. Accept that the world's condemnation is not all there is.
The church condemned Galileo, for Christ's sake. On the other hand if some one catches me poking the cat with a stick maybe I should learn a little compassion for my furry friend.
This is the time before Christmas. This is the birth of a new idea time. This is the beginning of PEACE on EARTH. This is the call to "LOVE YOUR ENEMY".
This is hard truth time. This is the Jews who think the Nazis should have "loved a Jew" yet whenever anyone says that kind of Jew "Love a Palestinian" they say "that's different". I say America should Love Iraq but they say "they're terrorists".
I say "I'm a Canadian". Learn from us. We've not killed the ugly little shit Quebecers yet. Despite their deserving more than any other shits on the earth. We want them to separate. We would build a wall to keep them on that side of the country if only they'd give us the Maritimes and the Newfoundlanders but typical of French every where they want to keep the Newfoundlanders to themselves. Not even the Newfoundlanders want to be with the French.
Ask the English, they gave up killing French long ago because it just encourages them. Now the Americans have the French under their skin. Serves them right. Everyone should have a French person in their life to test their Faith. The first cannibals were English people living beside a group of French.
Because Christmas is all about Faith. Do I have faith that this world is just an illusion.? Do I believe in the message of the movie Matrix. This is the Maya of the Hindo and Buddhist religions. This is the illusion. This is all perception. What is real is what Dr. Carl Jung called the "Collective Unconscious". God is real and all else is temporary. The spiritual is real while matter decays.
To quote the great American Vietnam soldier message, "This don't matter".
When people are living in the "real" with war and disease at their doorstep they wake up to the nonsense of shopping and media messages and consumerism and all the other fun but silly ideas. They get real and understand that we're "Spiritual beings living in a material world".
Our nature is spiritual. We're all God's children. Peel away the onion skin and we don't get shit but we we get light and love. We get little children who poke the eyes of cats and pinch little brothers but we're God's children. We are growing up. We can choose LOVE.
And we can learn to choose Love over Fear. We can listen to the message of Gandhi, Martin Luther and Mother Theresa. We can remember that Jesus said, "Do not be afraid." We can have faith that if we do good we will be rewarded in that moment and in heaven. The reward in Good is Now. It's in a feeling and realization that no money can buy. We were born to give.
I can get a $100, 000 or more today for killing someone. I can make a whole lot more money as a doctor being an abortionist or doing euthanasia. These are really high paid medical occupations. Highest paid really. Or I can go to work and try to save a life or comfort a person in pain and get low paid. I make that choice. I can be a drug pusher on the streets or I can be a drug pusher in the office or I can get to know what the person before me needs, not what I need, but what he or she needs and I can serve him. Yes I can give him a drug but I don't want to give a person a heroin so he forgets and stays imprisoned when he needs all his wits to find a job.
I can be afraid today or I can have faith and take courage. Courage is doing the right thing in spite of fear. Swaggering fearlessness is a video game world. I've faced too many guns and knives and hung off enough cliffs to know that I was afraid but did the 'next right thing.'
Christmas is the birth of Jesus. Christmas is the choice between "idealism" and "materialism". I can have a deep meaningful life of family, community and service to my fellow man or a shallow superficial life serving my own senses. I have to make the choice.
This is a time to ask "Who was Jesus". As Christians do we think its acceptable for Obama to leave the troops in Iraq till tomorrow. Should Canadians be in Kandahar? Should I talk to my neice who doesn't talk to me? The microcosm and macrocosm are one. That which we think of in a political arena affects what we think of in our personal lives. People who put up swastikas and celebrate Hitler would probably gas their neighbours if we didn't restrain them.
We know about children. Let's look at the world and ask if our leaders and our fellows and ourselves are being "good children". Is the guy I voted for being a stateman or a bully. Did I write to him and tell him what I think of what he's doing for me. If I voted for him then he's my employee. I'm responsible for his behaviour.
Jesus said we had to be "like children" to get into heaven. Did he mean we'd get their by being 'infant terribles' or was he referring to their 'trust' and 'faith' and 'love' for their parents. What do I feel towards my "CREATOR" or do I reject and ignore and neglect him by denying he exists and claiming I just "materialized" on the planet.
Nothing is more ironic than that those who deny Jesus a "virgin birth" insist that they are creatures without 'creators". "I evolved". "I spontaneously arrived" "I am a virgin birth" but "being intellectual" I mock "myths of virgin" birth or "if you want me to believe in a "virgin birth" then I am too. Evolution is fine but it's 'technical" and doesn't get to the "meaning" of the thing.
So you're a nihilist. You don't believe anything has meaning. So why are you so insisting on getting your way and holding onto your things. What we will fight for and kill for is our religion. So face it, your religion and my religion might well be Walmart and MacDonalds.
That's fine but is that 'all'. Is there more in a child's life than poking the cat's eye. What about learning. What about love. What about the big picture. Do we want Walmart's policy towards their employees. Do we look at the civil rights in China and not look at the civil rights in Walmart. Do we claim to care about children in Africa but not care for what's going on in Vancouver Eastside. Why are the courts letting out pedophiles and murderers and not protecting the citizens from repeat offenders. Have I written a letter to my politiciam employee asking him about those things I'm afraid of. If I'm a fraid that criminals ,especially marijuania growers and other government backers are getting favouritism, have I written to the state department and asked what they are doing about my concerns or am I just belly aching and polluting the world I live in with verbal farts.
And most importantly 'WHAT ABOUT DEATH". Our society is a society of "DENIAL of DEATH". And likewise it treats the old abysmally. It's a youth and adolescent culture. It's a culture that says plastic surgery is the answer. It's afraid of aging and death. It's afraid of wisdom. It's a tv culture. It's a video game culture.
But what do we believe? What is real?
That's what Christmas is. Even before Christ, in pagan days, it was the time the sun went away and people either killed themselves in fear of the darkness or had faith in the light and return of the light. Christ means messiah. It means "God will come again".
The Eucharist is a time when we eat the body of Christ and drink the blood of Christ. It's a great joke of a cannibalistic festival. But we're remembering we are GOD KILLERS. We're a race of cannibals. The vegetarians are either trying to be more than their roots or are just silly sentamentalists who would deny they were born between shit and piss.
We're animals who can reach for the skies. We're animals who can walk upright. We're intelligent animals and we can eat our neighbor or not eat our neighbor. We have to choose. We have choice. We can on a daily basis listen to the 'wee small voice' within us that says 'do good'. It's not right to steal money from tax payers. It's not right to make profit for profit sake if it means that thousands in South America will die. It's not sufficient to love your family or your corporation. You have to love yourself and your fellow man. Not just your tribe. That's where it begins. Sure you learn love in the home and then you learn to love more till one day you can be like God and love creation.
But don't get me wrong. Love a Muslim for sure. Love a taxman. But that doesn't mean I'm going to let the child poke my cat in the eye. There's a whole lot of space between loving and killing. I might think of killing the taxman or the policeman or the terrorist as #1 thought. In fact I might want them to send the fat taxmen round my way and think about stewing them too. I'm only human.
However I have to remember that the law "an eye for an eye" was the first law of "mercy". It said 'restrain" myself. Even if I can eat the taxman or eat the terrorist or devour the politician or the media critic I should learn and practice 'restraint." Despite my desire to "whack" silly girls and boys in position of power beyond their brains or emotional age, I should restrain myself.
If I really get it right I'll do as Jesus said, "Love your enemy." I'll put down my sword and not cut off the ears of the police or military today. I'll talk with them. I'll throw the money lenders charging extortionist rates, all those 'credit card' purveyors out of the temples. I won't 'respect' them. I respect "Jesus". I will 'give unto Caesar Caesar's due." He can have my money but he can't have my love or my soul. Jesus has my love.
It's not easy being 'moral'. Amorality is so much more fun. I want to be like all the tv heros. I'm addicted to Clint Eastwood and all those other 'humans'. But I have to realize that's not 'reality'. St. Francis is real. Dirty Harry wasn't a saint. God probably laughs at Dirty Harry movies and says "make my day" to Bill Hay and then loves me instead.
Be God like. Be good. Love your enemy. Love a politician today. Love a Muslim. Love a Catholic. Love a Sik or Buddhist. Even love a Communist. Hell, love a Capitalist. Love a policeman. Love the RCMP. Love the CBC. Love the ex wife or love the Judge. But Love rather than fear. And hate is just fear that is nursed and distilled. Let go of fear. Move on. Today is the beginning of the great idea of Christmas which is that God loves you and you can love God and your fellow man.
See you in heaven I hope. If I don't' eat my neighbor today, there's hope.