In the book of Matthew (1:18), we begin our story.

Joseph and Mary are betrothed when it is discovered that she is with child, but hasn’t been with Joseph yet, in the biblical sense, and Joseph plans to divorce Mary quietly so as not to put her to shame.

    It was the tradition among the Jews to name the first born son after the father, so we would expect Jesus to have been named Joseph, after his father and this custom.  But, Joseph has a dream, and an angel of the Lord appears to him and says, Joseph, son of David, “do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit: she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” So Joseph stays with Mary and their son is born and named Jesus.  The dream happened, but contained only the information about the name of Jesus.  The rest was to support the dogma of the virgin birth developed centuries later.

     The fact that Jesus was named anything but Joseph symbolizes the new beginning that Jesus represents for humanity.  There are many instances in the Bible of people taking on new names, perhaps most notably, Saul of Tarsus, who becomes Paul.  All of those new names signify a new beginning, or rebirth, for the individual.

     The myth of the virgin birth is a metaphor for the birth of a new consciousness into our world.  The virgin birth part of the story didn’t come into religious thought and therefore dogma for hundreds of years after the event. Jesus arrived here without the karmic baggage that the rest of us have when we reincarnate.   In metaphysics, Jesus is the man, Christ is his consciousness and corrected usage would be Jesus the Christ, not as is commonly said, Jesus Christ.  Jesus was born so that those who have been restricted can be raised in consciousness.  Jesus was very enlightened at the time of birth.  Baby Jesus glowed.  He had a purity of birth that was recognized by all who saw him, and the word purity at the time had the same usage as virgin, hence, virgin birth.  Those who held the infant Jesus had an experience of pure love.  Matthew, a disciple, tries to describe this experience, but Matthew did not hold the infant Jesus.  The essence of the experience of Jesus has unfortunately been lost in trying to translate it into words, and then translating those words into another language.  We can read the Bible as often as we wish, but it doesn’t become internalized until we experience the energy of the Bible. The experience cannot be described with our present vocabulary, and perhaps never will be, it simply needs to be experienced. It is truly a mystical experience.

     Let’s move on to Jesus’ birth.  Was Jesus born in a stable? Yes, that part of the story is factually true. But the reason wasn’t because the inn was full.  Everything about Jesus birth is symbolic and metaphysical.

Everything.

     The stable represents a new beginning, not a traditional environment for a birth. The stable represents the earth plane into which Jesus is born.  Jesus was probably birthed on a pile of hay.                

A stable is not restricted by walls and people. The essence of the animals and closeness to the earth connected with the earth energies.  Mother Earth. The stable is a purer energy than the inn. There was no crib.  The inn was a crowded place, filled with people and much noise. And they didn’t even know it was Christmas yet.

The inn was a gathering place, it represents the norm, and Jesus is to be born outside of our external physical universe, outside of the norm. Divinity occurred within him, as it does with all of us. The journey is inward. Jesus could not have been born in the inn, he needed to be born in a place that symbolizes the new consciousness he brought into the world, and separate from the busy, noisy, inn.

     Joseph, the father of Jesus, was left out of the birth picture. Joseph is the caretaker, the guardian, the protector of the baby Jesus. That is how our society is built.  Joseph  has no significance in the original story. He was portrayed as a very simple ordinary carpenter. Joseph was a very skilled master carpenter who had served a lengthy apprenticeship that didn’t pay very much, which is why he had not married earlier and did not have children prior to Jesus. The marriage of Joseph and Mary was an arranged marriage.   Dogma further demotes Joseph by stating that not only was Jesus birth virginal, but Mary remained a virgin throughout her life. When Jesus is born, Mary was about 16 or perhaps 15 years old.  That was quite normal and customary for their times. Joseph was 20 years older than Mary and would have been considered older or old at that time. Joseph and Mary’s primary role was to protect the infant and child Jesus, which they obviously did.

    Mary represents the divine feminine, the earth plane.  We talk about mother earth, never about father earth.  In religious art, Mother Mary is frequently portrayed with a powder blue field, which represents the earth chakra, or energy field.  For thousands of years femininity has been restricted from being allowed to foster.  We have a predominant belief system that only men can participate in the divine because God is male. God, of course, has no gender.  But in defense of the church, Christianity would have been suppressed early on, more than it actually was, if it had included a strong divine feminine element.  It simply wasn’t the way of the world then and is only now coming into its own.

    The three wise men is a great story, and a great metaphor, but may not have actually happen.   It symbolizes that the infant Jesus was far beyond humanity’s level of wisdom and beyond the power of kings.  Kings and wise men bowed to the infant. There was a star, because the heavens were recognizing a new alignment in the universe. The star in our story represents the major change in the world that was occurring.  We are now discovering new stars, new galaxies, and new planets, all of which, symbolize the profound change in our world that is now in process.  

    The gifts of the wise men are also symbolic, in this case, of the 3 bodies of man, the physical, emotional and soul bodies. Gold represents the physical body, frankincense the emotional body, and myrrh the soul body.

   The story of Herod is true.  King Herod was told, “a child is born who becomes a king and has great power” and Herod was threatened by that. King Herod feared the infant Jesus as a threat to his power, and did order the murder of children under the age of 2 in his kingdom.  That order was carried out to a great extent.  They say, some things never change, and humanity’s proclivity to kill its saints, teachers and healers is among the residue of our fear based cultures.

    The journey to Egypt of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is true.  Their time in Egypt provided shelter for Jesus to develop outside of the public eye,and from the wrath of King Herod.  The family stayed in Egypt until after the death of Herod in 4 A.D., when they returned to Nazareth.

    Jesus came to earth as a new revelation for mankind, but he was still human and had to experience growing up just like the rest of us. The guides say, “Because that’s the way we do it on earth.”

   Sheep and shepherds at the birth of Jesus represent his connection to the earth energies.  Everyone knew this infant was different, you could feel it, and Jesus glowed.  His birth represented a new consciousness, the Christ consciousness, on earth, and everything in the traditional story many of us grew up hearing has a spiritual meaning, whether it actually happened or not.   Do not get lost in the details of the story and miss the deeper and profound meaning. 

   December 25, the date we celebrate his birth on, is not Jesus actual birthday.  Sometime in the 4th century and after the council of Nicaea in the year 325, a group of men, bishops of the Christian church, got together and decided on a birth date for Jesus. December 25th was picked in part because it was the birth date of the pagan god Mithra and a popular date in the culture of that time.  The Emperor Constantine wanted to codify Christianity into a church with common beliefs and even when he made Christianity the official church of the Roman Empire, he did not persecute or try to stop pagan religions.  He permitted them to continue and they did for centuries. Pope Leo around 460 A.D. broke up a meeting of Christians on the steps of St. Peters church who were celebrating the sun god before going to Sunday mass in the church.  There were groups of Christians that were still celebrating more than just Christianity on Sundays well into the 6th century.

  Jesus actual birth date is in the last week of May and he was a Gemini. He was present in two worlds, human and spiritual, at the same time.

    Although the true story of Jesus birth and early years may differ from the traditional recollection taught today, the power of the story if enhanced by understanding how it all really happened.  Humanity is at the largest turning point in its history and the information being revealed in most areas of science is intended to help us through the changes. 

No matter what your interpretation of The Christmas Story is, Spiritual Activism Group and Rev. Sally Knuckles hope that your season is merry and bright and full of light!  May this time of birthing become a time of re birthing for you in the peace and joy of the season which carries you through the new year.