December 25–The Sacred: Adoration

O Come let us us adore him . . .

Today is the day of adoration, the day when shepherds are remembered, coming to adore the baby Jesus.  In another story, wise men, wizards from the East, come bearing gifts to him and adoring him.

We could fall down on our knees and offer adoration for a child that was, according to the stories, born over 2000 years ago under varying and conflicting details.  Or, we could Sistinelisten to the whole story, a story that begins with how human beings are images of the Divine from the very beginning–a story about how the Divine became human in order to remind us of who we are.

Remind us of who we are.  And then, once we recognize who we are, let the adoration begin.

That’s hard, given the culture we live in.  We adore the beautiful, the young, the famous, the wealthy, the influential.  That leaves most other human beings out of the business of adoration.  They don’t fit the criteria that our culture hands to us.  I find myself caught in this cultural influence, and so I’ve developed a little spiritual practice that helps me pull free of it.  I offer it to you on this Christmas Day.

The next time you are any place where there are more than a couple of people, begin to look at each person individually.  And then, within yourself say:  Thank you, for YOUR beauty. One by one, catch each person’s image in your mind and repeat your offering: Thank you for YOUR beauty.  As you connect with this person’s face, body, image, and as you offer your own gratitude for their beauty, you will, in fact, begin to see a beauty in them that you did not before.  It doesn’t matter whether you know them or not or whether you will ever even actually speak to them.  The beauty that they are will emerge for you as you adore it.

I submit to you that every time we manage to offer gratitude to another being for his/her beauty, we are adoring “the Christ” who we are as living images of the Divine.

Merry Christmas.

Bob Patrick

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