Saturday, January 06, 2007
I found Jesus. At the Chat'N Stand in Akron, New York. And lucky me, it's the Feast of Epiphany. How do I know this? Because Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar were just about to present their gifts when I pulled up. Frankly, I felt like a party-crasher, but the Little Guy invited me to join the celebration.
Baby Jesus seemed quite at home in his ramshackle creche. Evidently, there are more important issues to be addressed than 4 walls, central heat and rusted buckets hanging from the ceiling. He seemed much more interested in discussing the concepts of the day at hand. January 6th, in the Christian calendar, is the day Jesus was revealed as the Christ to the Gentiles. Not being strongly affiliated with any particular religion, I had some questions and concerns. Being the patient and merciful type, Baby Jesus indulged me.
Despite the fact the Little Guy had no footy-PJs to keep him warm on this blustery day, we had a heart-to-heart conversation right out in the open. We spoke mainly of the idea of the Christ, which means "the anointed or chosen one". It is the phrase that defines the collection of Divine ideas for humankind. Ideas of intelligence, joy, substance, strength and above all love. Baby Jesus had been chosen to blaze the trail and be a living example of these Divine ideas. He was to demonstrate the possible perfection inherent in every member of the human species when God's Truth was known and embraced.
When I mentioned my desire to explore the religious ideas of the world and find the foundations of love in each, Baby Jesus started wiggling with joy and bouncing on his Mother's lap. He told me perfection, or perfect love, lies at the core of all major religions. He told me the true church or mosque or synagogue or temple is not made of creeds and books. Nor does it lie in halls of wood and stone. The true church, the true foundation of love, lies within the heart of every man and woman. It lies in the willingness of each heart to express kindness and mercy and compassion , first and foremost to itself, and then to all others. When enough hearts can give their best effort and walk the talk of perfect love, when enough hearts have personal epiphanies of the glory residing within them, the world will bask in the collective Christ light. And the human species will realize, it has always been chosen.
As the celebration wound down, and I readied myself to leave, I apologized to Baby Jesus for not having a gift to present. He cooed and smiled and told me the only gift He would like from me is the willingness to follow my heart and the willingness to live from my heart. It is the most valuable gift I will ever give.