As we celebrated Christmas over the weekend, I have been thinking deeply about the meaning of this bible verse:
"YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALLYOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."~ Luke 10:27
To me, the words of Jesus represent the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus came to introduce us to his Father, the God of Heaven and Earth, and to teach us the true way of life. Making that vertical relationship with the Father and the horizontal relationship with people here on earth is the most important accomplishment for us humans.
Over the holidays I listened to the glorious music of “Messiah” by Georg Friedrich Händel. Even though Mr. Händel was a prolific composer, this composition became his most famous. Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759), was a German born Baroque composer who lived in England during the latter part of his life. In 1742 he cooperated with Charles Jennens (1700-1773) who had assembled text for the Messiah in 1741, mainly from the Old Testament. It is an English text oratorio (large musical composition for concert with choir, orchestra and soloists). Here is a link to a performance of: “For Unto Us a Child is Given”
I like to focus on the two aspects of the above saying of Jesus. Loving God establishes our faith. It takes our 100% effort to figure out how to manifest the words of Jesus into our everyday life. God being a spirit came to earth in the body of Christ to teach us the way, the truth and the life. He came to cut us off from the blood lineage of Satan (the ruler of this world) and connect us to our true blood lineage with God. By studying and believing in the word we can be reborn through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Through this kind of a lifestyle we can become adapted into the family of God and be reborn.
1) How do we love the Messiah?
1) How do we love the Messiah?
A week before Christmas I had the opportunity to join a True Family Values seminar with hundreds of clergy and believers in Chicago at the historical Hilton Hotel. These ministers and other guests brought down an amazing spirit and truly showed their faith in their savior.
2) How do we love each other?
Jesus gave us the instructions to love each other as we love ourselves. That means we are to substancialize his words. There are several ways to do this.
a)Take a larger view-point
I was just recently reading an article on how we can all benefit from taking a larger perspective. Like the astronauts who went to the moon, even though they were scientists, they couldn’t help but come back changed people and gaining a higher point-of-view regarding the situation on the planet earth. From out of space they looked upon the earth as one global unit, not structured into countries, religions, cultures, races, etc.
"That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people."
~ Dr. George E. Vaillant – conductor of the Grant Study Men
b) Adapt social skills for an harmonious life
Have you ever heard of the Grant Study Men? Dr. Vaillant has been conducting studies on human behavior over many years. With the financial support of William Grant, the study charted the lives of 824 men and women for over 60 years. He found seven major factors that predict healthy aging, both physically and psychologically: education, stable marriage, healthy weight, some exercise, not smoking, not abusing alcohol, and "employing mature adaptations." (Vaillant believes social skills and coping methods are crucial in determining overall satisfaction.)
However, his most important finding was revealed in a 2008 interview. He was asked, "What have you learned from the Grant Study men?" Dr. Vaillant's response: True success "is more about us than me."
For me that has been beautifully demonstrated in my favored Christmas movie: “Its’ A Wonderful Life” which you can watch through this link in its full length:
c) Love yourself by forgiving yourself
We have so many demonstrations of a Christly life. I find it hardest to love and to forgive myself. This is our greatest challenge today; to let go of our heavy baggage and believe that we are worthy of the love of God. A friend of mine, Doris Crompton, wrote a beautiful article this Christmas. She is conducting emotional release sessions. Doris has helped many people to let go of unwanted emotions.
Let’s prepare for the New Year by ending unfinished business. The Messiah is here to help us clean our slates and make a new beginning. By loving God and loving men we can receive our Messiah.