I want to write something profound, something religious. Something to take the bad taste of the Christmas Eve Service we went to.
I was reflecting, as I sat in the beautiful cathedral and listened to the angelic music soaring around us, that the Medieval Christians had a subtler understanding of the material world than we do. They realized that the glory of God could be represented in the material form: huge cathedrals, beautiful statues, simple gifts of stone, incense, wax, bread, wine to represent the Ineffable. Not just symbols, but in some small way, God with Us.
Then, the preacher started the sermon, and I realized they had a subtler spiritual understanding, as well. Once again, I was driven out of a church by the facile reasoning of someone 'ordained'.
I pray to God to save me from that fate.
He told personal stories to try to tie us to the spirit of the season: Stories of the death of his father on Christmas day, of the pains of childbirth and pregnancy. It was as depressing as it sounds. Perhaps an interesting story, but not appropriate to the day. And oddly, everything about that service seemed to have had the soul sucked out of it.
As people, sometimes I think we've become so small. We're so preoccupied with the little things we have to do, we forget that we're part of something larger: whether that something larger is community, or congregation, or human race, or planet Earth. That this world we live in is not simply inanimate and animate objects, but spirit, soul, life, beauty. That beauty is around us, always, even when we can't see it.
I could sit and explain that beauty until the end of time, and not have one millionth of the effect of a single second of experience of it.
And so, I leave you with a quote:
“We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.” - Kahlil Gibran