|UNITY OF VANCOUVER
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The Miracle of Christmas
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
December 19, 2021
All Rights Reserved
I want to paraphrase something Emilie Cady says in her book, God A Present Help, “Suppose a trusted friend came to you and said: I have some really good news for you. A will has been discovered and you’ve inherited a fortune.” Would hesitate even for a minute to claim your inheritance? Of course, not and I bet you’d claim it with great joy!
Imagine what such good news would mean. Relief from the pressures of trying to make ends meet, you’d have time to read, think, travel, live, love, and even help others. Suppose the same messenger told you about a physician who could cure any disease. How long would you hesitate or say, “I feel unworthy, or I think I might misuse my inheritance, so I’ll pass, give it to someone else.” Yet this is exactly what we do.
A messenger has been sent saying, “I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be for all people, peace on earth, good will to all.”
Advent Wreath: Gaze upon your Advent wreath as we light candles for expectation, peace, and love. On this 4th advent Sunday, we light a candle for the joy we feel knowing we can build a Christ consciousness and become a manifestation of God in the world. The birth of Jesus was the birth of a new message, a new beginning for mankind, a new way for us to live our lives; a new way for us to believe and pray. Born as we are born, into a human body but with a Spirit open to the power of the indwelling Father, a child and then a man about his father’s business.
God’s message come to the earth in the temple of the body of a man to tell you of your divinity and of your temple. As the star led the Wise men, Jesus’ messages shine to lead us to a new way of thinking, receiving guidance, healing, and abundant living. So, this Christmas, unwrap and accept the gift that has been wrapped up inside you since your birth. Affirm: “May the Christ be born in me this Christmas and every day. May I unwrap my divinity. Amen.”
Today as we meditate, we renew our awareness of the Christ within; so that God may come more fully through us - by using a prayer Silent Unity has used over 100 years at Christmas. Let it fill your mind and be one with Silent Unity.
The light of Christ fills our bodies. The vitalizing power of Christ inspires and lifts up every thought in our minds, feeling in our emotional nature, and cell in our bodies. Mighty currents of God’s healing love flow through us. Feel the flow of the life of Christ.
The love of Christ fills our hearts. When we think of the birth of Jesus, we think of love. It’s a love story about Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men, and angels. We open ourselves to this love.
The substance of Christ fills our Affairs. At Christmas time especially, we come to a place where often we need more awareness of God as supply for all our needs. The Christ came so we may have abundant life. So, if there are any of you in need, know that Christ is filling your needs now. You have access to all good. If a friend or loved one is in need, call out their name now, into this atmosphere of faith, then rest with Silent Unity in courage and faith.
The beauty of Christ shines forth through us. as faith and freedom, joy and courage (and joy comes with courage; as we rise above our fears, joy has a chance to be expressed) and power and peace. Christ is made manifest in us. May you have light, life, love, abundance, beauty, faith, freedom, joy, courage, power, and peace.
This is my Christmas prayer for you. May you have the love of Mary and Joseph; the wonder of the Star; the holiness of angels; the wisdom of the wise men; the joy of the shepherds and the blessing that all human beings had on that birth night; May the blessing of the Christ child be upon your life. Amen.
THE MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS
Today we're celebrating the miracle of Christmas. The word Christmas means celebration of the Christ. A consciousness was born on this planet which opened a door for all of us. A seed was sown over 2000 years ago and it has been sprouting and growing and is a cause for joy. Today is the 4th Sunday of Advent. The Sunday of exceedingly great joy.
The nativity scene was first seen in the year 1223 on a hilltop in central Italy. St. Francis of Assisi set up a crib complete with ox, donkey, and an infant in a manger. This scene is now seen in churches around the world. It is a tender, wonderful way to remind us of the humanity of Jesus Christ. It helps remind us that Jesus was like us and we can achieve what he achieved.
As children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings with toys and goodies at Christmas, but as adults, we are thankful to God for filling our stockings with legs. One of the real joys of life is health - to be able to walk and move the body in health.
Another of the joys is love. Here is an idea of a love gift that is one of the best ideas I've ever found, it is by Raymond Aaron. “Shortly after my daughter Juli-Ann was born, I started a loving tradition. Every year at Christmas, I write an annual letter to my daughter. I fill it with funny anecdotes that happened to her that year, hardships or joys, issues that are important in my life or in hers, world events, my predictions for the future, miscellaneous thoughts, etc. I add to the letter photographs, presents, report cards and many other types of mementos which certainly would have otherwise disappeared as the years passed. I keep a folder in my desk drawer, where all year long, I place things I want to include in the special envelope contained in her annual letter. Every week, I make short notes of what I can think of from the week’s events I will want to recall later in the year when I write the annual letter to her. When Christmas approaches, I take out the folder and find it overflowing with ideas, thoughts, poems, cards, treasures, stories, incidents, and memories of all sorts; many of which I had already forgotten--which I eagerly transcribe into the year’s annual letter. Once all the treasures are in the envelope, I seal it and write, “Merry Christmas, annual letter to Juli-Ann from her Daddy on the occasion of her 9th or 10th Christmas to be opened when she is 21. It is a time capsule of love from every different year of her life to her as an adult. A gift of loving memories from one generation to the next. It is a permanent record of her life, written as she was actually living it.
Our tradition is that I show the sealed envelope to her and tell her that she can open it when she is 21. Then just after Christmas, we go to the bank, open the safe deposit box, and put it inside with all the other annual letters. She will often take all of them out of the box, look at them and beg to see what is inside. But I say, “No, not until you’re 21.” He says his one prayer is that he’ll be there when she opens them. Can you imagine that event? I can. I can see them sitting around a dining room table, laughing, and crying and remembering things they haven’t remembered in 20 years. What a wonderful gift of love and joy.
If you’re married, how about starting this tradition with your wife or husband - writing an annual letter to be opened on your 25th anniversary. Put inside all the wonderful thoughts and things you’ve had happen this year.
When you’re old, you may forget some of the joys, some of the things you had to be thankful for. What a wonderful gift of love you can give to yourself this Christmas. To put your life in a time capsule, then open it up later on.
Dr. Daniel Sugarman, in his book, "Priceless Gifts”: gives us 12 additional ways to give to those we love.
1. A gift of time. Commit to spend time with another person/or God.
2. A gift of a good example. Children need positive role models and so do we, be a good example by living the Christ teachings.
3. A gift of acceptance. This Christmas give someone you've had a problem with - because of choices they made, the gift of acceptance.
4. The gift of seeing the best in other people. Don't see what's wrong, see what's right.
5. The gift of privacy. A woman gave her husband a coupon book of privacy- the coupon's said, "I'm not mad at you, I just need some time to myself." All he had to do was tear one out and hand it to her then he'd go to the movies or hunting or whatever he wanted to do.
6. The gift of self-esteem. Spend some time building someone up.
7. The gift of giving up a bad habit. A friend gave her husband the gift of her giving up smoking last Christmas. He said it was his best gift ever.
8. The gift of self-disclosure. Share your true feelings-be honest.
9. The gift of helping someone learn something new.
10. The gift of really listening. Look into the eyes of your child, spouse, friend when they're talking to you and listen with your heart.
11. The gift of fun. This is high on my list of priorities.
12. The gift of letting others give to you. Accept the wonderful gifts that come to you this season. They'll bring joy into your life.
Now I'm going to give you the gift of a story Justice William Douglas loved to tell. A young lawyer went to a convention to talk to other lawyers and judges about Roman law, but when he got there, he found he'd forgotten his notes. Since he was not an authority on Roman law, when it came time for his speech, he gave a 20-minute talk on sex instead, and then went home.
When he got home, his wife said, "You left your notes on Roman law at home--how'd it go? What did you talk about?" He said, "I spoke to them about aviation and flying." A few days later, someone who had attended the convention was talking to the man's wife. He said, "Your husband gave the most incredible talk at the convention." He didn't say what the subject was, just raved on and on about what a great speech it was. Finally, the wife said, "You know, that's strange, because to my knowledge he's only tried it twice. The first time he got sick and the second time his hat blew off."
And joy - just broke out right here, and that's the miracle of Christmas.
What do you think?
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