“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2: 10, 11).
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea....And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God....And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21: 1, 3, 4).
“...Behold, I make all things new....” (Revelation 21: 5).
“Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (Christ Jesus, John 20: 17).
Christmas on Earth actually began as a birthday party. A day, December 25th, was chosen to commemorate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, who was becoming many things to many people: prophet, teacher, savior, brother. Throughout the centuries, some scholars have argued over the actual date chosen for this celebration, pointing out that, perhaps July was the better month, due to the tax collection cycle in the old world, at the time of his birth. But it doesn't really matter what date was chosen; the purpose of Christmas was to celebrate Jesus' birth, because Christians believed in his importance to the world.
To this day, the activities of the Christmas celebration involves gift giving to family, friends and even strangers. This has been logically tied to the historical and biblical report that, upon Jesus' birth, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and “...presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2: 11). Thus, the first gift giving was not the commercial and often burdensome activity it has become for many today; instead, gift giving originated as a way of lovingly giving gifts to others in honor of the gifts one would like to give to Jesus, who's no longer here in the flesh.
But as nice a tribute as this is by those who've found a spiritual light in Jesus, planet Earth is filled with people of many other religions, who are following other prophets. These people often resent the celebration of Christmas. And, even Christians have to admit that the spirit of the Christ within Jesus, and all, has been nearly blotted out during the holidays. Over the years, the Christmas Season has been converted to the time of visits to and from Santa Claus, where children make a list and expect it to be filled, and parents often feeling inadequate to do so. Christmas has also become a mecca for retailers, who make their biggest profits of the year. To a traveler from another world, Christmas 2005 might show little evidence of even being a religious time of year.
Yet, Christmas really is important in a universal way. The message of spiritual, rather than material selfhood, was meant to be given, lived and proved by Jesus to all humanity, not just those who saw him in the flesh, or those who follow his teachings today. His message of eternal life belonging to everyone, (even those who don't comprehend that they are already spiritually eternal) was meant to reach and apply to all the inhabitants of Earth, no matter what they believe about themselves. Peter the Apostle taught, “...God is no respecter of persons:” (Acts 10: 34 to :) . This means that the mission of Jesus, his fleshly persona, was to deliver the message of the Christ, the spiritual identity of, not just himself, but of each and every individual on this planet.
Thus, it wasn't just to his followers that Jesus was speaking. His message of mankind's spiritual being was meant for planet Earth. He revealed the divine identity within each and every one of us, to benefit and awaken anyone who would listen. No identity exists outside of God, the infinite Spirit of life. Even Christians must get this message of their own divine being, safe and sound forever within God, the infinite One. Without this revelation of spiritual selfhood, the cycle of living and dying in material form, separated from God, will continue for eons. Once one begins to see the Christ selfhood within, one begins to put on this new identity, slowly but surely, until all material falsehoods are cleansed from consciousness, and the Christ begins to ascend from the Adam and Eve persona. (I use the term 'persona', because the fleshly selfhood is not a real identity; like an actor on a stage, it's just the part we are playing, in the mortal and fleshly drama.) Putting on our spiritual identity is like slowly emerging from amnesia.
Once the idea of spiritual being dawns upon thought, and one begins to awaken from the Adam dream of identity, then this earthly, material sense of self, with all its mortality and ills of the flesh, begin to leave one's experience, a step at a time. Other spiritual things become clearer and more possible to explain. Other truths that Christ Jesus taught of divine, spiritual being, begin to make sense, and don't seem so other-worldly, like: why Jesus would think it right to love our enemies; how Jesus could teach his disciples to heal physical diseases; how Jesus (and disciples) were able to bring some who had died, back to life in the physical form; and how Jesus actually resurrected himself in three days' time in the tomb. His resurrection was actually proof of our own resurrection: it was accomplished because the universal Christ identity, created by God, Spirit, doesn't really live or die in the flesh. Fleshly being is a mental state of self-deception, for impossible to spiritual selfhood.
One really big spiritual fact which Jesus taught was that the real kingdom of God is at hand, (ever-present) and that “...the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17: 21) This means that it's there, within the deepest part of our spiritual consciousness, just waiting to be re-discovered, or seen mentally. And once seen, it not only heals the ills of the flesh, it must heal the hatred of others. As new, spiritual creatures, we must express love and good will toward everyone we meet. Our spiritual brotherhood must be put into play, with all the kindness we're individually capable of.
The physical perception of things is the Adam dream—imagining God to have created mankind from the dust, rather than Spirit, and with generations proceeding from earthly, material families and tribes, rather than from our One, spiritual Family. The earthly beliefs about family and nations have led to all the wars that have ever been fought on Earth. Only in the material sense of things do we find any things and boundaries to war over. In this material realm of forgetfulness, we war with our very own spiritual brothers and sisters all the time.
Jesus' directive to love our enemies made no sense to the world, of course. It still doesn't. Yet it came, no doubt, from within his conscious awareness of the kingdom of God within, wherein all God's children are the real brothers and sisters to each other. In this true kingdom, each individual has the allness of God; each, therefore, has his own provision for eternity. Each lives harmoniously forever, with no need for corruption or self-defense of any kind.
Here are some of the other biblical references to this true Kingdom of God. I've itemized the references below, in order to show that Christ Jesus tried to reveal much more than spiritual identity, or selfhood, to a world which was still asleep in the mortal, material Adam dream of existence. This messenger from God was not only telling us who we really are (God's spiritual children) and what we really are (spiritual in body, soul, and mind, rather than physical beings). He was also trying to show us where we really are: in the spiritual, but invisible-to-the-physical-senses, creation of God. This creation is the only creation that is real. It is the spiritual, everlasting kingdom of God, which is still with us, and where we still “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17: 28) —even though we don't perceive God's kingdom in physical form. Here are a few other biblical statements about the kingdom of God:
The blessings that come into our earthly experience can transform it from the limitations and ills of the flesh, to the health and well-being of our immortal selfhood. It can be the smallest thing, and it doesn't matter if the lack to be faced is lack of our divine supply, lack of our divine health, lack of harmony in relationships, or a claim of injury to our spiritual body.
For example, five days ago, I was standing in my own living room and backed up, tripping over something on the floor. I fell hard against a table and chair, but brushed myself and forgot about it. Two days later, I couldn't explain why I hurt all over. My legs, and particularly my back, felt stiff and painful when I moved. I particularly had trouble going up the stairs; something I usually take two at a time. Suddenly, I remembered the fall.
Now, from experience, I realized that this was just the claim of being physical and injured, not some dire prediction of disease, which could produce more fear. (Fear is the very first thing to overcome, when healing spiritually.) So, immediately, I claimed my true selfhood as God's own child, free of fear. I also claimed my Christ Consciousness, (my true mind) which couldn't be deceived or persuaded by physical sensations or symptoms of injury, nor made to fear any physical so-called law of matter. I knew these things were illusion of what is termed the 'carnal mind' (that sense of myself that still thought of my identity as fleshly) and that these things would disappear when the spiritual truth came forward in my consciousness.
So, I mentally reminded myself that I was Spirit's child, thus made of the substance of Spirit, and that nothing in the material world or mental dimension could hit, slam, or bruise my spiritual being. This was not wishful thinking, nor any attempt to deny reality and fool myself. This came from my deep conviction that my spiritual selfhood simply was not injured. Nothing could injure me in the kingdom of God, where the substance of all things is spiritual. The true substance of the chair and table were spiritual. Their substance didn't reside in the physical form of them, anymore than my immortal identity and substance exists in the physical form of body which seems to be me, but is not. Even if material forms, like tables and chairs, were real in some dimension, they couldn't hurt me, because matter can't hurt Spirit.
Due to a lot of practice in this type of thing, I didn't have to stay on the subject more than a few minutes. Soon, the aches and pains left, including the seeming back injury, and I was running up the stairs, two at a time again. (I do this for exercise, to balance all the sitting I do at the computer. While trying to live as a spiritual being, I think balance or moderation in most things is still a wise thing to practice, when we can, just to avoid repetitive injuries we then have to heal.) At any rate, my physical manifestation of body corrected its 'condition' and the truth of my spiritual wholeness and soundness was again manifested on and in my externalized body form. Then the carnal mind (that false sense still pestering me in consciousness) ceased to feel any pain, because it now sensed the wholeness of being, as matter transformed. (Don't feel bad if you don't get the process of healing at first; just trust that it does occur. Soon, you'll see that your own belief is the agent of both sickness and injury, as well as the correction, or healing, of it.)
Obviously, I do think Christmas is a good holiday to keep, especially when seen as a remembrance of Christ Jesus' visit to planet Earth, and all it included. I know there are many other spiritual seers and prophets, and some of the enlightenment from them is awesome and wonderful. But in the earthly persona of Jesus, a really elevated spiritual individual brought something to our world that could benefit each and every identity here in a way that actually spells out the way home to eternity, from whichever side of the grave we're on. He brought the truth of who, what, and where we really are. And the uniqueness of his spiritual knowledge, taking away and lifting us above mortality and the need for any type of wrong-doing, is something this world needs now, more than ever.
Around the whole planet, our spiritual brotherhood and sisterhood are still here, though we perceive them not. No national boundaries can hide it from the kingdom within; no ideologies can suppress it. The spiritual truth of all things is still here, and there, and everywhere in God's everlasting, invisible kingdom on earth. We can call it forth. Anyone can call upon it and activate it at any time that the ills of material existence threaten and claim dominance over God's authority. My Christmas wish is that the divine light which Christ Jesus brought to Earth shine brighter in 2006, than it ever did in 2005.
“Glory be to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2: 14).