This is the Sunday that Christians celebrate as the first Sunday in Advent, the coming of the Christ into the stream of human life. Christmas carols are now acceptable on the radio and in the Richie household. We all enjoy the traditional music from Handel’s Messiah to Jingle Bells.
But beneath the “Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men” theme of the Christmas season lurks the fact that my husband and I have not always seen eye to eye on spiritual issues. In fact, there was a time when we had to stop talking about spirituality and religion altogether. Holy Wars on the home hearth.
Take the topic of reincarnation, for example. I used to think that my husband just HAD TO accept that reincarnation was a reality. Oh, I know this is not a generally held tenant of Christian doctrine, but no matter. The best explanation of the spiritual history of humanity that I have ever heard includes this mechanism. My husband, bless his heart, took a more agnostic position–he was not ready to commit to reincarnation one way or the other, but I was, at one time, adamant with missionary zeal.
Arguments that ended in painful feelings of alienation certainly did not represent the spirit of Christmas, eh? Yet, our spiritual life is so personal for some of us, we put the cart before the horse, insisting, in a sense, that people who don’t agree with us are somehow insulting us….or maybe, we just think they are stupid and we can not suffer fools. Or, we are downright fearful that somehow their beliefs will harm us in some deep existential way…like maybe their beliefs could bring down destruction upon our own innocent head or the entire world! Send us to Hell and Damnation, perhaps.
Whatever causes such creepy conflict between persons, peoples, nations, folks of different faiths is NOT the spirit of Love. And although it seems simple, it apparantly has to be repeated bazillions of times before humans get it through their thick skulls. In a nut shell, TRUE Spirituality is about balance, harmony….love.
Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Voodoo Economist…whatever the label….”We are one Race–Human,” as Grandmother Parisha often says. We are the family of humanity. And we need to learn to embody Love. And that is Humanity’s Big Advent-ure.