Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Peace to All

Whatever your beliefs, this day offers us all a moment to stop and ponder the larger implications of the day. It commemorates an incident specific to one faith, but the implications have a much larger, non-sectarian (indeed, supra-religious) meaning. Within Christianity, Christmas celebrates the act of grace--God's gift to humanity in the form of a tiny being. In the case of Christianity, God sent this being not as a gift to a tribe, or to the worthy, but to everyone, including those who were most certainly not worthy by any conventional standard. This is the transcendent impulse of the faith, and one that is sometimes obscurred when religion is dragged into the spheres of government and politics.

For all of us, it is a day set aside to think of this transcendent generosity, in whatever form inspires us. We may use this day to imagine what it would be like to extend to our most troublesome enemies the greatest gifts of compassion and peace we can imagine. Maybe this means just sitting for a moment to release the animosity we have, to feel the peace of silence that comes from not nurturing it.

Christmas is a day associated with a single religious tradition, and for that reason, alienates some people. But, speaking as a Buddhist, I think it's possible to lay aside the sectarianism it may imply and think about the larger possibilities. May we all have peace on this day and experience the relief and release of not nurturing our inner violence and hatred.

Peace to you all--


Chris Wilcox said...

Thanks Jeff. Your eloquent post confirms in my mind that there is no "war on Christmas" so to speak. So long as the best of the teachings of Christianity, of man's brotherhood, acceptance of one another, and the idea that we are our brothers keeper are the meaning behind holiday greetings at this time of year it would be hard to find offence in Christmas wishes. None of that has a thing to do with government or politics. If more Christians were aware of that the world would be a better place. Peace be with you my brother.

yoma said...

Lovely, gracious post...