And His son shall be named Jesus, which means Savior. What did He come to save us from? Jesus did not come to save us from prejudice, hunger, injustice, bondage or bill collectors – human experiences or spiritual opportunities that present occasion to grow in the Spirit of Christ. The answer given in the New Testament of the Holy Bible is “from sin.” Jesus’ birth and life is a road map leading us from sin and selfishness to the Spirit of Christ within all of us.
Man can make laws and rules in an effort to be fair and just, but if we have not changed our hearts (the seat of the soul or true self), sin and selfishness will persist. Isn’t this really the problem when we stand back and look at our earthly existence? We don’t seem to have an appreciation of when we have enough. We constantly worry about whether others have more than us and fear the future will leave us hungry, broke, undomiciled and unable to pay for our medications. Ultimately, our possessions own us instead of the other way around. This form of selfishness feels flawed, especially during Christmas as we celebrate the birth of a Savior who gave everything, including His life to absolve our sins.
Jesus knew that sin is a refusal to grow in Spirit and be committed to unconditional love (a change of heart). His parables speak of bearing good fruit or growing in the talents we are given. Jesus’ birth, life and ultimate death on the cross shows us how to grow in love. When we grow in unconditional love, rules and laws are not necessary for our caring for others; it precludes any violation. We will give to others because we have grown to understand that giving is the road to personal fulfillment and peace of mind.
I am not just speaking of the gifts of material items, although they are very important. It is not just the dollar we put into the Salvation Army bucket. I am speaking also of unconditional love for others as opposed to selfishness. Unconditional love is not an emotion, but a way of being in the world. It sees the love and beauty inside of all living things, while looking past whether a person has or has not. Unconditional love makes no judgments and does not compare what we have to others. It is the giving of the Light of God. It would cure the world of hunger and put a roof over everyone’s head.
Unfortunately, this will not happen until mankind realizes a true sense of humility and understanding. We are nothing, but are everything only because God resides in us. The Spirit of Christmas appeals to the humility, innocence and love of mankind to reach out to his or her neighbor. A neighbor is anyone in need.