Sitting with a multitude of faiths

Its the summer solstice here today, and I often get a much more spiritual feeling about this occasion than about the christmas festival.
There’s a connection to the rhythms of the earth and the skies, and feeling a part of that, however small.
Christmas is nice because it’s time to pause and take an audit of everything that’s good in life, and what we have to be grateful for, but I’m afraid that unlike my childhood, the story of the baby in Bethlehem leaves me cold.
I used to love reading Luke’s gospel – the most poetic and fairytale-like version of events, and while I still enjoy indulging in the story, I’ve lost a connection to it.
It doesn’t make sense – a child who’s brought to life solely to die prematurely, a supposedly loving father who would allow his son to die in pain and torture to save our souls. The big guy’s supposed to be god – why can’t he just snap his fingers and do it? No matter how you explain his motives he doesn’t come off well, and well, I don’t think I’d like to be associated with such a cold deity.
And then you see the connections – the virgin birth myths in history (Egyptian, Greek and Buddhist lore for example), the sacrificed son myths in history (eg Viking and Judaic history) and and you see that the Christmas story is just another version of a very ancient myth. Who knows why we cling to these stories and patterns?
When it all comes down to it every faith, every religion is just us trying to give ourselves an explanation of our presence here on earth. No one knows who is right or who is wrong, so as long as we harm no one and promote the well being of ourselves and others maybe it’s enough just to sit with the multitude of faiths and let them be.
However you interpret it, however you celebrate it, I hope this Christmas season brings you peace and contentment, love and warmth, and a feeling of being part of something greater than you alone.

Published by Maggie

Writer, traveller, observer.

2 thoughts on “Sitting with a multitude of faiths

  1. Happy New Year Maggie. I have always connected the Christmas story with the passage in Matthew's gospel about the Massacre of the Innocents. The story seems to justify horrific, brutal incidents (even if untrue) when they are in agreement with a prophecy. I hope that the year ahead brings more humanity, peace and true goodness and happiness in the world.

  2. Yes, I understand you. The "salvation stories" as told in the first three Gospels, and then zooming out to the rest of the biblical narratives don't make sense – and, like you, I used to love reading the Gospel of Luke. I remember really struggling hard with the biblical material when I was doing postgrad theological work and it's how I ended up leaving Christianity, for that feeling of connection as is celebrated in paganism and other spiritualities that have love and celebration at their core. This year's winter solstice reminded me of much of this, and there are some more thoughts bubbling away awaiting expression. In the meantime, I echo your wish for the Christmas season – you put it so beautifully.

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