One rich part of the texture that comes from living in many places around the world is seeing how closely we really are connected.
This day, when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, is so rich in inspiration that everyone can gain regardless of culture, religion or creed and we have seen these connections again and again.
May Merri and I share three stories of Jesus given by those from other religions and cultures that have been meaningful to us?
I was reminded of the ideal that we are always cared for if we place our lives with God when reading the 14th century Sufi (Islamic) poet Rumi who wrote this beautiful poem (translated by Coleman Barks), that says:
“The miracle of Jesus is himself, not what he said or did about the future. Forget the future.”
A Huron Indian carol touched my heart by sharing the ideals of hope and renewal in an Indian way. This carol evolved from a legend of Deganaidah, the Peacemaker. This mythic person was known as the Man from the North and was said to be born in the Wendot tribe (Huron) on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. Tradition says he was born of a virgin who had been visited by a messenger of the Great Spirit Tarenyawagon, who was bringing a messenger to give lasting peace to mankind. Here is the carol:
“Twas in the moon of winter time
when all the birds had fled,
The mighty Gitchimanitou
sent angels choirs instead.
Before the light the stars grew dim
and wandering hunters heard the hymn
Jesus your King is born,
Your king is born.
Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender babe was found
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapped his beauty round
The chiefs from afar before him knelt
With gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Oh children of the forest free
O sons of Manitou
The holy child of earth and heaven
Is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant boy
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy.”
I was especially reminded “how we are all eternal” when speaking with an Andean shaman one day about the concepts of life and death.
“There is no death,” he said. “Did you not listen to the message from Jesus?”
What more can we say except that to ask all of you our friends, regardless of your religion, race or creed to pray today to your God for the greatest Christmas ideal of all “Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All”!
Gary & Merri