Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Every night a child is born is a holy night

Christmas is coming and the year will soon be turning. I cannot believe it will soon be 2012 and yet as I write this it is only mid November. I just doesn’t feel quite right to be thinking of these things just yet, but life compels me to. Well actually the job does. I have to constantly think ahead, while still living day by day, nay breath by breath.

The theme we have been following at the congregations this year for the congregations I serve, Dunham Road Unitarian Chapel Altrincham and Queens Road Unitarian Free Church Urmston, has been nurture. How we nurture ourselves, our families, our communities, our world. We are all born with potential, the ability to do many things but to achieve them we need to both nurture and to be nurtured.r.

I have recently been given the honour of conducting several blessings of both children and one adult. I have incorporated water into these ceremonies and blessed each child’s thoughts, words and deeds by touching them with water on their foreheads, their lips and their hands. Following I present a certificate containing, amongst other things,  the words “Every Night a Child is Born is a Holy Night” by Sophia Lyon Fahs.

And so the children come.

And so they have been coming.
Always in the same way they come --
Born of the seed of man and woman.
No angels herald their beginnings,
No prophets predict their future courses,
No wise men see a star to point their way
To find a babe that may save humankind.
Yet each night a child is born is a holy night.
Fathers and Mothers --
Sitting beside their children's cribs --
Feel glory in the wond'rous sight of life beginning.
They ask: "When or how will this new life end?
Or will it ever end?"
Each night a child is born is a holy night

by Sophia Lyon Fahs

We are each of us precious and unique and we each have so much to offer our world, if we could just unearth and nurture that greater reality deep within the core of our very being. There truly is that of God in each and every one of us; the potential to do great things. That said there is also the potential to destroy, to corrupt to abuse.

Karen Armstrong Author of “12 Steps to a Compassionate Life” once said “Religion is not about accepting twenty impossible propositions before breakfast, but about doing things that change you. It is a moral aesthetic, an ethical alchemy. If you behave in a certain way you will be transformed.”

The purpose of the religious, the spiritual, life is to nurture and develop the potential within each of us. I see this as the purpose of any religious community. It is more than that though; the purpose of a religious community is to share this in their villages, towns, cities, counties, countries and the wider world; it is their purpose to spread those concentric circles of compassion, that Confucius described two and a half millennia ago, out to the whole world. This compassion begins within the individual, and spreads to our families, to our communities, to our regions, to our countries before it encompasses the whole world. It begins though by healing and nurturing the individual's soul.

Let the light of love heal our souls and let us make each and every moment holy; let’s make every night a holy night.

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