A Christmas Reflection by Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay
What joy to celebrate all these infants, our future, to remember the power of every human being to make a difference in the world as we celebrate the beautiful, impossible, beloved story of the nativity. At this time of year, I always think of the message of Unitarian minister David Cole: that the nativity story may be poetry and not fact, but then again, it may be something else. Perhaps it is not so much that the stories are untrue but that our own lives are untrue and the nativity reminds us of who we really are. There is so much in us that is untrue to the divinity which is also part of our real nature. Our selfishness often exceeds our generosity. Our narrowness squeezes our goodness. Our present is short of our potential. And the nations likewise fall short of the promise. Wars, violence, exploitation and terror campaigns are a rejection of the human longing for peace and goodwill.
But each December the sacred hope is reborn. We are reminded that beneath our flaws lies a loving nature, sacred in essence, and the nativity story lifts up that best within us. Nations pause, and wars have stopped on Christmas Day. Scrooges become cheerful. The wonder of Christmas is that it reveals who we really are: saints in tattered clothing, fallen angels who mask their divinity most of the year. It is Christmas that is real and we are untrue to it too much of the time.
Let us remember those insights. Let us open ourselves, take in the promise of Christmas and let its beauty help us recognize and release the best within us to share with the world. Let our own stories become stories of Christmas miracles and Christmas blessings. May we be true to Christmas. May we be loving, may we light-filled, may we be healing, may we know and bring and sing: joy.