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