The First Night Of Christmas: To Wonder

(This post was meant for Christmas Day, but I am running a day late…Smile)

Merry Christmas to all of you!  May peace, love and joy permeate you and your family  today.

Well, recently I have been thoroughly enraptured with the website Full Homely Divinity (http://fullhomelydivinity.org/) and looked today, Christmas Day,  at the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Today we focus on the wonder of the Divine by the Shepherds.  (We could also include the Wise Men as some religious paths do. In some traditions, Epiphany is the day for The Baptism of Our Lord with a beautiful blessing of the waters.  Some paths include the Wise Men (Three Kings’ Day) on Epiphany.  This back post may assist you  regarding these ideas  here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/01/12/the-magic-of-three-kings-day/ ).

I also looked at the first inspirational message today by Lynn Jericho of Inner Christmas (www.innerchristmas.com to sign up).  Her thoughts today centered around the capacity we all have to wonder, and how in the process we become like the shepherds, the Wise Men, artists, scientists, thinkers.

My meditative focus to you tonight also centers around the act of wonder. 

How do you wonder in your family life?  What brings you wonder as you watch your children?  What brings you quiet joy?

How do you bring wonder and awe and reverence to your children?  If you have read this blog for any length of time, you will see I have strongly encouraged those of you without a spiritual path to consider some literal soul-searching to show your child what your framework for meaning is in the world.  The small child needs to DO in spiritual life, to DO in creating silence and to DO in seeing wonder and reverence and awe.  The small child needs to DO in the life of the festivals in the calendar of the year.  There are many back posts on this subject.

My other thought was that we can all find wonder in the beauty of nature and the changing of the seasons.  I wrote several very popular posts here about connecting your child to nature here   http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/11/24/connecting-your-children-to-nature/    and here:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/06/09/kidscapes-nature-in-the-city-and-more/

I recommend giving these back posts a read and perhaps even journal as to how you are going to include nature in your plans with your family this coming year.

Over the days prior to Christmas I was reading Rudolf Steiner’s “The Child’s Changing Consciousness As The Basis Of Pedagogical Practice” and this quote is one that many people are familiar with: “Those who have not learned to fold their hands I in prayer during childhood, cannot spread them in blessing in old age.”

Of course Steiner was speaking here of more of the bodily religion of recognizing the wonder of other people, but this quote also reminded me yet again that something that has the capacity to bring wonder and joy to ourselves is daily  prayer and meditation.  For me personally, the Book of Common Prayer along with a Daily Office provides a scriptural, liturgical and meditative focus all in one.  Liturgy really can draw one closer to the Divine.  For those of you coming from a background with little liturgical focus (but you might be willing to try this New Year! Smile), I recommend a book called  simply “Common Prayer:  A Liturgy For Ordinary Radicals”, which essentially gathers liturgy from different traditions and also marks days of Saints and historical events of social justice import within the calendar of the year.  It has morning, mid-day and evening liturgies for each day of the year and would be a wonderful way to connect to God this year:  http://www.amazon.com/Common-Prayer-Liturgy-Ordinary-Radicals/dp/0310326192/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1293365609&sr=1-1

See what resonates with you most as you focus and meditate and ponder.  Merry Christmas!

Many blessings,

Carrie

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4 thoughts on “The First Night Of Christmas: To Wonder

  1. Merry Christmas Carrie to you and to your family and friends!

    I don’t want to cause confusion and this might not be the right place for a long discussion about Shepherds and Kings, but I am willing to offer more information if wanted. But one thing I would like to gently correct is the idea that the day of the Kings is the day of “baptism”. The day that celebrates the Christ Child being presents in the temple is February 2, Candlemas day. This is the 40th day and in the Jewish tradition the first day that the mother can re-enter the Temple for her “purification” from the taint of giving birth.

    Luke 2
    21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

    22And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

    23(As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

    24And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

    25And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

    26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

    27And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

    28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

    29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

    30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

    31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

    32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

    33And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

    34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

    35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

    The circumcision was performed on the eighth day, (not the twelfth) according to Jewish law, but no mention is made anywhere in Luke of the visit of the Kings. This belongs only to the story of the events in the gospel of Mark.

    The two stories of Luke and Mark are completely different in every way and cannot be the stories of the same child. I can elaborate on this, but only if you would like me to here or privately.

    With love,
    Christine

  2. Carrie, how nice it would be if you did 12 inner work meditations for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Something to think about for next year? :) Merry, Merry Christmas, Elizabeth

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