Monday, November 29, 2010

Something Old, Something New On The Verge Of Christmastime

4:17pm Café 1842 Uptown Waterloo

As Christmastime is fast upon us even though it's not yet December, I am appreciating things familiar and things new.

Today is a crash day after an unusually long weekend of traveling and getting together with good friends. I allowed myself to sleep in till the early afternoon. Soon after getting up I found myself here at 1842, among the familiar. There's the all-day breakfast, a skillet of homefries, onions, peppers, and ham, with 2 eggs done how you like them and toast. There's the Javanilla coffee that is yumalicious. And there's the Toronto Star, with an almost mandatory article on the scoring woes of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and another article discussing Justin Bieber's hairstyle. I like the familiar, it makes me feel nice and warm. Ohhh...Tony Bennett just came on the music system, singing Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town. I like the familiarity of old Christmas carols like Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Away In A Manger, and Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire. Traditional versions, not all pop-y by current artists. Tonight I will bus down to my spiritual centre for a meditation class, where there'll be the familiar sanctuary and cozy library and a cup of mint tea at break-time (perhaps with a splash of egg-nog if there's any left over from the other night's decorating party.)

I am also thinking about being with someone you love and the calming, warm familiarity that so often comes with that. Holding or being held by that someone you love as you caress each other's skin and give each other gentle kisses.

Now on to something new. I am still struggling with finding a personal meaning of Christmas, several years now after leaving evangelical Christianity. Back then I believed that Christmas was about Jesus coming down from heaven as a baby who was also God, who came to be the sacrifice for humankind's sins. In the first few years after leaving these beliefs I simply said that Christmas was about family and friends and peace on earth. And still this is what Christmas is about to me. But this year another possibility is arising, that Christmas can be a celebration of the Christ-presence, or God-presence, within each and every one of us. It can be a celebration of our divine nature that allows us to have immense power and to dream big dreams. At Christmas we remember Jesus, but we can remember our own Christ-presence within.

A few thoughts on a nice Autumn Monday afternoon.

Mark Andrew