Saturday, December 8, 2012

Graceful Moments & Christmas 2012

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 - Fairview Park Mall, Kitchener, Ontario

It has been quite a good, and relatively pain-free day; I'm thankful for it. I did something to my back about a month ago and it has got progressively worse so I had it checked out at a clinic yesterday and am now taking some pretty strong pain medication and will check back in in a week. But until then this medication is allowing me to complete some last minute tasks before going home for Christmas. Today I went to the mall to pick up some pills, and they were super cheap, so of course I picked up another litre of eggnog, which I'm drinking in a study carol here at the library. I ran into this woman who I don't know very well but who is always a real beacon of light and positivity; sometimes that's just darn annoying, but today I appreciated it. It was nice to see The Salvation Army band playing in the mall as well. Then I went to ValuVillage and found some jeans that fit me for a great price, which brings me here to the library. 


Each year I write some thoughts down as to what Christmas means to me and what I believe about what is presented as the "true Christmas story" by many Christians. I don't think I'll say too much about it this year. I do think that it is important to realize that just because something is a myth does not make it any less true or real than if it happened historically. For me, and for many others, there are just way too many similarities between the Jesus story and early Egyptian and other mythical stories for the Jesus story of the Bible to be literally true.  This shouldn't threaten our faith, but enhance and enrich our journey as we then can ask the question, "What is truly behind this Christ-journey if many of the events never even happened?"  For me, this year it is simple. Christmas mostly means time with family, watching Christmas classics and listening to Christmas songs, but also realizing the Christ-power or divine power within myself and within everyone around me. There are accurate stories of the meanings behind the Christmas tree and holly and ivy and gift-giving, and theologically speaking there are parallels between Jesus and other figures such as Mithras and Horus. But for now, it's mostly about tried and true traditions and Christ-power or Christ-potential in each person. I would also add that forcing someone for whom the nativity story has no connection with to believe in the far-fetched miracles is disappointing. Why not take the opportunity to share stories and learn from each other instead? For instance, there is a live animal pageant happening at a church just down the street from me that draws thousands to it every year; I will not attend, because it no longer makes sense to me.

Wherever you are today, I hope your holiday preparations are going well,

Mark Andrew Alward