It's Christmas season, and a significant part of the world is celebrating the birth of Jesus, who once said that He is the Light of the world! Perhaps to an outsider, this sounds very arrogant! Jesus is claiming to be the Light of the world!? Light enables us to see things, and at the same time light defeats darkness. When Jesus said: He is the Light of the world, he meant "see the world through my Light!* The Light of love, the Light of God!"
The question we have to ask ourselves as religious people, especially as Christians is this: "do we see the world through the Light of love?" Do we recognize the goodness in other people outside our religions? The Light never discriminates, Light never says: "I only shine on Christians" or "I only shine on religious folks..." No! The Light shines on everyone, however, unfortunately, we as religious folks can control Light and prevent it from shining on others!
I love religious festivals and traditions—but I am also critical! Do we really understand what our religious celebrations mean? Do we really understand what Christmas is about? Christmas, to me, is only meaningful when I am willing to see the other in the Light of love! Christmas is not about stuffed Turkeys or buying presents for those who already have a lot of things, whereby others are suffering from poverty and lack of justice.
Christmas, to me, is about recognizing the unrecognizable, hearing the whispers of the unvoiced, and healing of the broken souls, embracing of the unwanted, and sheltering of the rejected ones. For me, this is the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Light! The Light that ignites humanity in love and compassion. Defeat darkness by being a light to a world that needs its warmth so desperately.
I want to end my speech with a poem of mine I wrote once to a person whom love dearly, and she needed some light in her life!
A Basket Full of Light!
With my ladder
I climb up the skies,
and pick the moon
and I bring you
a basket full of stars
a heart filled with Light
and a poem seasoned with love! A gift of words is this poem
with broken hearts
to let them know;
there is always hope
even in the darkest nights!
* Richard Rohr mentioned this in one of his podcasts (Another name for everything, season one).