The Nativity Story has taken on new meaning for me. It is no longer a stale old story of something that happened long ago and far away, of concern only to those people who call themselves christians.
Ever notice how the Christmas songs speak of the Birth as happening right now? "Away in the manger...the baby lord Jesus lays down...", "We three kings of Orient are..." and so forth. Ever notice how dark and cold and cave-like the days are, like the cave the Babe is often said to be born in? And the way Jesus is often referred to as the light of the world?
He was not born in December, you know. Not the historical Jesus. Some say he was born in August. So why do we celebrate in December?
On December 21st, the sun goes into it's lowest point--and stays there for three days! It starts back up on Dec 24th or 25th--Christmas! The day the Divine Light is born in the baby Jesus according to Christian tradition.
|the Golden Pheonix|
rescues the sun
So is the Nativity story just another Solstice story?
In my mind, there is a definite connection between the solstice stories of the sun being returned from darkness to give light to the world, and the Nativity story of the Divine baby being born "to save us all" from spiritual darkness.
In this Chinese story, the golden pheonix pushes the sun up from the dark depths of a cave at the bottom of the sea where it has been held captive, so that it can break free of its watery grave and once again light the earth.
At any event, just as we celebrate the birth of new Divine life and the return of the sun, so, inside of me, I feel a newness being born out of the darkness.