In ancient times, as today, the seasons changed. For part of the year, the nights grew longer and longer until they froze. And then, just near the darkest time of the longest nights, people celebrated the promise of the return of the light. They had different symbols for the coming of the light. Evergreen represented rebirth — the promise that warmth would always return. People gathered with their loved ones, flung their voices against the darkness and shared a marvelous feast. Some called this celebration “Yule.” And, slowly at first, the light has always returned.
Another very old story tells of an anointed one (the “Christ”) who represented a new beginning, a chance for redemption. Some people who believed the anointed one had already come combined their story with the traditions of Yule and called it “Christmas.” This became a time to celebrate the fulfillment of a promise, like the return of the light, but embodied in a specific human person.
Many people all over the world celebrate this time of year. In my country, the United States of America, we have made “Christmas” an official national holiday, though nobody is required to celebrate it. It is a very inclusive holiday if you are open to the idea, no matter what your religious beliefs are. Perhaps you believe, through some supernatural force, an anointed one has already come. Perhaps you believe he has yet to come. Perhaps you believe in no such supernatural force at all. Perhaps you choose to celebrate something in your heart, some idea. It’s up to you, as all your choices are up to you.
And what a very wonderful idea it is, that at the darkest time there is hope that the light will return. And what a very powerful idea that the light can be embodied in a human person.
When things seem at their darkest, I choose to believe that you are that person. It is an important idea that the return of the light is not outside of you, but is within your heart and mind. And if you believe it, too, then you will act on it. Through your actions, change will happen slowly at first, but the light will always return. This is the magic the world needs.
Merry Christmas to you, and may your heart be filled with joy and bereft of despair. And may your friends, family and everyone you meet share that joy.Posted by James at December 25, 2007 12:43 AM
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