Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holiday Wishes

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Maulid al-Nabia, a Blessed Kwanzaa, a Joyous Festivus, or what ever you celebrate this time of the year.

Whether you celebrate as a secular or religious holiday, I hope this time of the year can be a time of peace in an unsettled world.

I will once again celebrate the birth of Jesus the Nazarene.
Growing up I learned that he came to be born so that he could save us from our sins.
I still believe this to be true, but I think he did it more by his life, than his death.
When I think about his teachings, and those of John the Baptist, his cousin; and how they lived their lives, I see the real beauty in what he did.
He spent most of his life as a carpenter, a laborer.
He came to know the life and struggles of the ordinary people.
At age 30, he began his mission of preaching the message of love.  He went to the people, roaming from village to village, recruiting fishermen and even a tax collector to help him.  He did not preach from a position of authority, he had no pulpit, he held no office. Within 3 years the ruling party became concerned enough that they crucified him.
But still, his message of love of God and of our neighbor did not die with him. It spread to all corners of the world.

Without a doubt, his name and his message have been used to justify great horrors, but that does not change the fundamental truths which he taught:
That we are all neighbors.
That God (however we understand our higher power) is love.
That it is not our place to judge others.
That we have an obligation to forgive.
That we have a responsibility to share our fortunes with others.
That it is morally wrong to oppress others.

These teachings are not unique to Jesus.
Other spiritual leaders have independently preach the same, which makes it universal.
Many of my friends who do not believe in God, believe in these teachings.

So my friends, my wish for you this season is that you find moments of peace in this troubled world, that you find rest in the fact that your Higher Power is Love, that you remain strong in your convictions to these universal teachings.

Have a Blessed Holiday.

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