December 28, 2007

If You Are Christian.... Christmas Is Not Over

Merry Christmas to you on this 28th of December… but wait isn’t Christmas over? Well if you sell ornaments and gifts it is, but what about if you’re a Christian. Few Christians realize that Christmas begins on 25 December. It is a 12 day celebration beginning on the Feast of the Incarnation and ending on the Feast of the Epiphany. It’s a shame that Christmas is not truly celebrated in this country.

The regular reader will recognize that I am not in favor of Christianizing our nation any more then we already do, but I am in favor of an extended period of time in which it is customary to reach out to our fellow man. When you really think about it our country has turned the traditional Christmas back into the pagan festival of the winter solstice. A single day to revere as the last day before light begins to come back into the world.

Once again…I’m not trying to move mountains here, I just want to point out another absurdity in our descent from spiritual to material ambition.

December 5, 2007

A True Meaning of Christmas

The Christmas Season is a time full of beauty: The natural quiet stillness of snowfall and the warmth of a family taking common shelter against the cold. As I will spend Christmas this year away from those I love, I thought I might take a moment to articulate one of the true meanings of Christmas

The proper name for Christmas is “The Feast of the Incarnation”. ‘Incarnation’, to paraphrase, means the coming of spirit upon flesh. It is well known that the date of Christmas is not meant to correspond to the actual anniversary of the birth of the Nazarene. The feast was adapted from a pagan feast celebrating the darkest time of the year (the winter solstice). Pagans believed that this was a time where Light was coming back into the world. The Christians adopted this feast as the best time to celebrate the birth of the ‘Lord of Light’. And so, we wish each other ‘Merry Christmas’. We acknowledge the Divine Light alive and well in our fellow man. We give each other gifts as an acknowledgment that the Light has come alive in them.

There is a custom that has traveled with eastern tradition to every corner of the globe. It is called ‘nemaste’. While the spelling and littoral meaning of this custom vary; it most nearly means ‘I bow to you’. It is the custom of people slightly inclining their heads in a bow of recognition. The idea is: “I see the Light in you, I feel the loving presence of the ‘Divine Source’ within you, because you are holy I bow to you”. The beauty of this custom is that people bow to each other at the same time. It is a custom without rank, simply an acknowledgment that the Light is within in all good people.

As we progress into the cold of winter let us reach out to our loved ones. The gifts we give are not always bought in a store. A hug, a smile, a kind word of encouragement, or even a slight bow of the head; these are all vessels of love and let us be generous with them this Christmas.

May the Great Light shine upon You

May It grow within You.

May You be for the World a beacon

May You shine the Light forth

May the World be comforted

For Truth and Light will prevail.

December 4, 2007

Don't Ask, Don't Tell. General Kerr did both.

Retired Brigadier General Keith Kerr caused a scandal at the Republican You Tube debate last week. He challenged the candidates with a question demanding that gays be allowed to serve in the military. It was discovered, later that he was on a steering committee for Gay issues in the Clinton campaign. General Kerr has said that he is still evaluating who he will vote for, and I believe his association with Clinton is because she is listening to his issue. I don’t believe that makes him ‘her man’.

As a Soldier I believe that a retired General, has earned the right to speak on his own merit. He is a gay man who took the high rode. He hid in the military so he could serve his country. Now years later, after faithful service, he says that he felt that the army was wrong to make him stay secretive. He has every right to feel this way, and I support his position that Soldiers are professionals able to work with gays in the workplace.

Fight the smear campaign against him as a ‘political pawn’. Generals are not pawns, he has earned the right to scream his outrage from the rooftops.