The Third Sunday of Advent
The Holy Family
Today we light three of our candles on our four-week journey to Christmas. In our quest to renew the Christ within we began with hope like the wise men guided by their intuition, with our second candle we reignited peace in our hearts, and today’s candle is for love. The love of God that is in every being and expresses in our every action. Let love light your life.
Try to imagine what it was like for the Holy Family as they traveled to Bethlehem for the census. They were most likely walking, tho they may have had a donkey for Mary to ride. But even that, for 108 miles would not have been comfortable, especially at the end of a pregnancy.
This young family had already gone through much; imagine yourself trying to explain a Holy pregnancy….the talk back then was probably just as bad as it would today, worse actually, because Mary could have been stoned to death for adultery back in the old days.
Mary didn’t believe it at first, the Bible says; “Mary was greatly TROUBLED at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” And neither did Joseph believe it. He was going to quietly divorce Mary until an angel spoke to him.
Mary may have felt like this officer:
A police officer pulled a guy over for speeding and had the following exchange:
Officer: May I see your driver’s license?
Driver: I don’t have one. I had it suspended when I got my 5th DUI.
Officer: May I see the owner’s card for this vehicle?
Driver: It’s not my car. I stole it.
Officer: The car is stolen?
Driver: That’s right. But come to think of it, I think I saw the owner’s card in the glove box when I was putting my gun in there.
Officer: There’s a gun in the glove box?
Driver: Yes sir. That’s where I put it after I shot and killed the woman who owns this car and stuffed her in the trunk.
Officer: There’s a BODY in the TRUNK?!?!?
Driver: Yes, sir.
Hearing this, the officer immediately called his captain. The car was quickly surrounded by police, and the captain approached the driver to handle the tense situation:
Captain: Sir, can I see your license?
Driver: Sure. Here it is. It was valid.
Captain: Who’s car is this?
Driver: It’s mine, officer. Here’s the registration.
Captain: Could you slowly open your glove box so I can see if there’s a gun in it? Driver: Yes, sir, but there’s no gun in it. Sure enough, there was nothing in the glove box.
Captain: Would you mind opening your trunk? I was told you said there’s a body in it. Driver: No problem. The trunk was opened; no body.
Captain: I don’t understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn’t have a license, stole the car, had a gun in the glovebox, and that there was a dead body in the trunk.
Driver: Yeah, I’ll bet he told you I was speeding, too.
A humorous way to look at the frustration that comes from not being believed.
Luke 2:6-7 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Mary was visited by an angel who told her she would be the mother of a great leader. She represents the divine mother and unconditional love. Joseph was visited by an angel too when he was going to divorce Mary. The angel told him that his bride to be would be carrying the Holy child and it was his calling to care for this child. Joseph represents wisdom and using our mind. When we use love (like Mary) and wisdom (like Joseph) we bring forth miracles, (Jesus).
Imagine what we could do if we allowed love & wisdom to guide our choices, our responses to everyday happenings, what would your life be like?
Then the family had to flee to Egypt as refugees because Jesus’ life was in danger due to Herod’s decree, in much the same way as refugees from war-torn countries are now entering many western countries. Some things do not change…
Mary and Joseph are tested when Jesus is 12 and stayed at the Temple instead of being with his parents as they left to travel back home. We probably all have tested our parents from time to time, but few of us would explain our exploits by saying we were doing our Father’s work!
I would love to know what his punishment was…being grounded, coming straight home after Hebrew school, …
There are several more stories floating around about Jesus’ early life, and they all point to the fact that he was loved by his family.
The Holy Family loved one another and their love helped Jesus become a great spiritual leader. Love for each other and God kept The Family together and sane throughout all of these trials.
The love you have for your family and friends can help them become great too. When we fill our hearts with love, and speak words of encouragement and kindness, we create our own holy family. Remember, love is a verb, it’s an action word. Let your love spread out and light your world.
How can we do that?
Let’s start right here…how can and do we spread our love for each other here at Unity?
I’d first like to say by showing up…the fact that we attend Service, even if we may not feel like it at first, shows that we have some commitment to, if not Unity, then maybe some of our fellow Congregants. And showing up for activities shows our love for our Unity family.
Another way is volunteering to help the Service run smoothly so the others can enjoy it without concern. It’s nice when this duty is shared so everyone gets to sit back and enjoy a Service without any duties.
What do you think? (Hugs & Handshakes, Fellowship)
Now think of ways you share your love with your family….
How about at work? Smiles to your co-workers, keeping your patience, no negative criticism…
Have you witnessed a time when you saw someone acting from love? Could be as simple as holding a door or taking a grocery cart back for someone…a smile as you pass someone on the street…
These are all examples of sharing your love…it never has to be extravagant or expensive, as the saying goes, ‘It’s the thought that counts.’
It’s so important to let people in your family circle know you care for them, whether a family of blood or choice… it’s part of our basic needs as a human being:
1. Certainty: The need for safety, security, comfort, order, consistency, control.
2. Variety: The need for uncertainty, diversity, challenge, change, surprise, adventure.
3. Significance: The need for meaning, validation, feeling needed, honored, wanted, special.
4. Love and Connection: The need for connection, communication, intimacy and shared love with others.
5. Growth: The need for physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development.
6. Contribution: The need to give, care, protect beyond ourselves, to serve others and the good of all.
Now go back and ask yourself if & how you are aiding the basic needs of humanity in Unity? In your family? At your work?
Now is the time…Love is calling all of us to step up in whatever way we are able to do our part in changing the world. We have the hope….we know that peace begins with each of us….and we know that we are love.
Let’s make it so….