Dear old and new friends,
Skyrockets, church bells ringing and the fireworks of New Year’s Eve overshadow the few remaining reminders that still exist of Christmas. Dark now are homes and store buildings once brightly outlined in lights, as bedraggled Christmas trees devoid of tinsel and decorations sit on the curb awaiting trash pickup. Emotionally, Christmas feels a long way back…yet it was only a week ago! Miraculously it can be easily recalled, and now devoid of all the Yuletide garish garlands the authentic Christmas can actually be more dynamically soul energizing.
A meaningful memory of Christmas can be yours in the following days of this coming New Year each time you write the four numbers of Anno Domino 2015! Dionysius Exiguus, a monk in 525, invented this dating system based on the birth of Christ—the first Christmas! A.D. (for Anno Domino) before the year became widely used in Europe around 800 and continued being used in the Gregorian calendar, and now is used by the United Nations and the Universal Postal Union. The years before the birth of Christ are signified by use of B.C. (Before Christ) which officially follows the date. According to a consensus of scholars Dionysius Exiguus was mistaken in his calculations and the actual historical date of the birth of Jesus was 6-4 B.C. Since our modern world includes billions who are not Christians, or even religious, today the initials C.E. (for Common Era) are used instead of A.D., and B.C.E. for B.C.
As was said at the beginning of this refection, without the shopping and hectic activities of December 25th that awesome Mystery we commemorate on Christmas can be more dynamically enriching. Christmas commemorates God becoming one in flesh in Jesus of Nazareth…and also with all humanity, all creation and all the measureless vastness of the Cosmos. Look up at the night stars—and beyond to the countless galaxies—with Christmas eyes and see the Presence of your Mysterious God. Look with Christmas eyes not just on evergreens but all trees and shrubs and see the Divine Creator within. Look with Christmas eyes upon friend and stranger, upon alien and family member, and see your Beloved Lord.
Each time in the coming days you write the New Year date 2015, don’t dash it off quickly, but deliberately write out those four numbers. Pause to look with Christmas eyes at them for a mini-moment to allow the meaning of God’s Investing of Self in all matter to fill your heart so you can taste the joy of a real Christmas.
Happy New Year C.E. Anno Domino 2015