What Shall We Give Birth to this Christmas? - a Meditation by Matthew Fox
I would like to see us give birth to a new normal.
Our recent meditations have considered meanings of advent and Christmas. How Advent can be our awakening more fully, our becoming more present to the deepest parts of ourselves, our values and our silence, our hopes and our fears, our joy and our passion for making justice, healing and compassion happen. To love therefore.
We have also considered how not only are we re-born on Christmas more fully as “other Christs,” but we are ourselves are called to be birthers of the Christ (or Buddha Nature or Image of God) in a special way in this season. We are called to do what Mary did in our time, culture and historical moment.
So it seems right to ask the question: What is this Christ (Buddha, Image of God) we are choosing to birth into our hurting world at this time of solstice, darkness and silence? I invite the reader to ask yourself that question.
I will attempt my partial answer to the question here.
I would like to see us give birth to a new normal. One hears so often the refrain, “Oh, I can’t wait until the coronavirus is conquered and we can get back to normal.” To me, the old normal was not so exemplary.
Didn’t our previous normal bring about climate change and the greatest extinction spasm in 65 million years? Didn’t it bring about utter devastation to hundreds of millions of peoples in the wars of the twentieth century? Didn’t it go along with racism and thus perpetuate the trauma of slavery? And stay pretty much silent about the genocide to Native peoples in America and around the earth?
Didn’t the recent normal create an educational system that was all about knowledge and the power knowledge promises but utterly void of wisdom? Didn’t the past normal create a sick masculinity wrapped in the privileges of patriarchy? Didn’t it perpetuate power-over women and domination habits in many men and the institutions they spawned?
Didn’t yesterday’s normal give us an economic system that exploits Mother Earth and the poor and elevates the most powerful 1% so they can hire politicians and judges to make laws that protect them and their corporations from taxes? Didn’t the old normal report daily on how the stock market was doing–and often identify our economic system with the stock market–even though 50% of the stock in America is possessed by 1% of Americans; and 92% is possessed by the richest 10% of American?
I don’t know about you, but I think a crisis as profound as the coronovirus that has already killed 131,000 Americans and shut down much of our economy and forced workers off their jobs while many large corporations benefited ought to spawn not nostalgia for the past normal but eagerness for a new normal—one that would be more god-like, more compassionate and just?
That’s the Christ I would like to see us birth this Christmas as we sing: “Peace to all people of good will.”
Nativity scene caged and separated to give symbolic messaging on the current situation with separation of families at the US/MXO Border. Scene outside of Claremont United Methodist Church. Image credit: Rev. Karen Clark Ristine, via Washington Post