So what IS the Good News?
A New Way of Reading the Christmas Story — Part Two
I expect that you, like most of us, find yourself thinking sometimes ‘We could do with some good news!’
And then at Christmas the call goes up ‘Good News! A saviour has been born!’
But that was 2000 years ago, and the world still looks pretty messed up, doesn’t it? So what on earth does that mean?
What actually is such good news, if anything, about Jesus being born in a stable two millennia ago, and does it really make any difference to our lives today?
I think it can make a difference. But perhaps we’ve just got a bit too hung up on the story. I think to discover the really good news, we need to look beyond the ‘Jesus has been born’ part of the message and ask ‘What is this all about? What does it all actually mean?’
Because all spiritual teaching is metaphor.
As I’ll be pointing to again and again over the next few weeks, everything is turned on it’s head in this story — and in all the stories of Jesus in fact. There is an incredible ordinariness to pretty much everything in the setting of this story. And yet, from that very ordinary, simple, unassuming start, events are set in train that are still reverberating two thousand years later.
What if it’s as simple as that?
Within the ordinary, the simple, the unimpressive, lie the seeds of something beautiful, transformative and meaningful and unique. That’s true for us all, as we live our ordinary lives. This story points to the perfect simplicity of each moment of life. That all the things we think we need will ultimately never bring us what we seek. Something as unnoticed as the birth of a poor couple’s baby could actually be the most important gift of all.
A metaphor for our lives.
And we still don’t get it.
We’re mostly still looking for something else. You can fill in the gaps for yourself: you know what it is you’re seeking in order to feel secure, enough, satisfied, fulfilled, at ease. Me too! But we’ll never find what we are looking for in any of those things.
What we’re looking for — deep wellbeing, peace and love — is built in. It’s who we already are. It’s our birthright — what we’re made of. And it never goes away.
Even when we lose sight of it completely.
You are connected to the same deep source of wellbeing as that tiny baby all those years ago.
So relax. Enjoy the candlelight, angel light, firelight and star glow.
You already have everything you need.