“The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in darkness. See it not outside yourself, but shining in the Heaven within, and accept it as the sign the time of Christ has come.” (“A Course In Miracles,” T.15.XI.2).
When our young son asked his innocent question “Why Christmas” I’m not sure what my husband said but it did surprise him. We attended church as children, but with adulthood came agnostic tendencies. We didn’t see much evidence of a supreme being. It was 1973, the Vietnam War was raging, with protests and plenty of injustice and starvation in the world. How could God allow such misery?
We loved Christmas with our two young boys, Santa’s visit, singing carols about Jesus’s birth, yet sadness somehow prevailed. That sadness eventually led to the search for the deeper meaning in life. The existential question “WHY are we here” was surfacing in our mind and hearts. After several years exploring a variety of religions and spiritual paths, we became students of the spiritual; psychological; metaphysical; non-dual, mystical book, “A Course In Miracles.”
Helen Schucman, the scribe of the course, said she heard the voice of Jesus dictating the course to her over a period of seven years. In Chapter 1, He said:
“You (the sonship) are a perfect creation, and should experience awe only in the Presence of the Creator of perfection. Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me. An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and obedience for his greater wisdom. He is also entitled to love because he is a brother, and to devotion if he is devoted. It is only my devotion that entitles me to yours. There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you” (ACIM T.I.II.3.).
Jesus, our equal elder brother, is devoted to us. He says we (the sonship — men and women) are alike, regardless of any perceived differences because we “think” we have separated from God. We haven’t, but we have let the ego part of our mind distract us from the quiet within where God’s memory is found.
“The memory of God comes to the quiet mind. In quietness are all things answered, and is every problem quietly resolved” (ACIM T.27.IV.1.).
The difference between Jesus and us is that we still have an ego. Our mind is split between love and fear. Jesus is one example to follow for inner peace. We have the power to choose between the ego or Jesus and the Holy Spirit within. It is a lifetime goal, maybe many lifetimes, simple but not easy. Do we choose to be tolerant and loving? Are we attracted to the promise of peace or repulsed as the poor shocked man in Part 1 last week?
“This Course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance” (ACIM Introduction).
Why are we here? To remove those blocks barring love from our hearts. We learn lessons from the script of our lives and withdraw projections and judgment placed on others. We train our minds to let go of the past, the cherished grievances, we forgive by looking honestly within while blaming no one, including ourselves.
“Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?” (ACIM T.15.I.1.1).
The part of our mind still connected to God compels us to awaken. We grow weary of the treacherousness of the ego and its stupefying guilt. The Course says God, being only love, does not judge or condemn. We can no longer blame God for wars and problems we create when listening to and following the judgments of the ego.
“Judgment and Love are opposites. From one come all the sorrows of the world. But from the other comes the peace of God Himself” ACIM Workbook Lesson 353.
If we had been students of the Course when our young son asked “Why Christmas?” we could have snuggled him and his brother on our laps and assured them: “You are loved as dearly as the baby Jesus because the same light placed in Jesus by God, is also in you; God loves everyone equally; baby Jesus grew up to be a wise man who always is in your Mind and heart as God is; be kind. See God’s love and light shining in everyone.”
Jesus’ Christmas gift to the world is non-judgmental, all-inclusive eternal love and light. You can’t buy it. It is yours, you inherited it. When you give it, you receive it. The Christmas Star dwells within you. Shine it out into the darkness from your Holy Christ Self. Have a Merry Christmas.
Sally McKirgan edits the weekly Inner Peace Column and facilitates a weekly “A Course In Miracles” study group. The Course is one path among thousands offering peace. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to A Course In Miracle websites at www.acim.org or www.facim.org.