Every Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a tiny baby in Bethlehem. Babies are born all the time! But this one’s birth narrative has been told over and over again for hundreds, even thousands of years. Whether you accept the story as literal or symbolic, it holds deep meaning. A new vibration of Love came into this world in the form of a human being… and he was born among the animals.
Art by Simon Mendez
Where else would perfect Love be so welcomed? It’s an ideal setting for such a birth. Animals are real. They have no pretenses, no ulterior motives, no images to project and no hidden agendas. They don’t blame, shame, hate, envy, lie, cheat or express impatience, arrogance, self-loathing, selfishness or judgment. They don’t hold grudges, but quickly forgive, even the most egregious of offenses. They live in the present and handle their own emotions. By their nature, the animals - who lovingly surrounded the Christ baby - exemplified the very teachings that he was to grow up and convey to all of mankind - teachings of Peace, Universal Love, Forgiveness, being true to one’s authentic nature, and the nearness of God. Most of us completely ignore these teachings today. But the animals remember.
Art by Simon Mendez
In the Christmas story, the Christ child was laid in a manger – a feeding trough likely for cows or sheep. It is interesting to note that this young one grew up to be the man - thirty years later - who boldly challenged the commercial activities of the Temple and its animal-selling marketplace. He drove out the moneychangers and freed the sacrificial cows and sheep; innocent animals used to vicariously hold the sins of human beings before being slaughtered. These were animals just like the ones who surrounded him at his birth. It ultimately cost him his life.
If we were to turn ourselves to our Light within, we too would free the animals - free them from our plates, our wardrobes, our product testing and our entertainment. Like the animals in the Temple, they are without blame, having done nothing to harm us. They are beings created by God with their own interests, not ours to do with whatever we want. “Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5: 7 & 9)
My daughter Madeline and Dawn Cow at the Orland, CA Farm Sanctuary.
This Christmas let us remember that the vibration of perfect Love, which came into our world over two thousand years ago, lives in us today. We hold within us all we need to create a world of Love, Peace, Compassion, Kindness and Mercy. We must start with ourselves and be what we want to see in the world.
Let us also remember the gifts of the animals - their authenticity, quickness to forgive and simple being-ness. Perhaps we will be moved to bring ourselves closer to the Presence that they themselves reveal all the days of their lives.
May the Love and Peace of Christmas bless you today. And may the animals also be so blessed by your own merciful hand.
© carol saunders 2016
Art by Simon Mendez
Rev. Carol Saunders
I am an ordained Unity and Interfaith minister, speaker, writer and lover of all life. In 2010 I founded a spiritual community in Deerfield, IL, a suburb of Chicago, and led it through mid-2021. In my current ministry I host a podcast called The Spiritual Forum. Being a voice for the animals and a light for the spiritually-inclined who are willing to seriously examine the self and begin to awaken, are what Spirit has called me to be. I am here to support anyone who wants to move toward living in closer alignment with their deeply held spiritual values - i.e. sovereignty, freedom, love, peace and kindness. We have the power to change our world by changing ourselves. A first step is identifying and releasing all the cultural conditioning that normalizes cruelty and violence. Be Love. Be Peace. Be Kind. Today.
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