Celebrating the Birth of Christ- by Rev. Valerie Mansfield


What is the gift that we're giving this Christmas? It's not about the monetary gifts. It's about the gifts from our soul, from one soul to the other soul. The Christmas story is bigger than the birth of Jesus. It's bigger than the story of this small child wrapped in cloth and laid in a manger.
It started long before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. It started in the beginning. God created that. The true start of our Christmas story is with the words and thoughts that we all create. Soul is born on this planet. If you read our Bible, it's what we're gravitated towards for Christian teachings and for the Jewish faith. It's the first five books of the old Hebrew books, which told of the Masonic prophecies of this birth. Isaiah told us that the Lord shall give us a sign, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call him Emmanuel. Then unto to us a child is born. A son is given and the government shows up on his shoulders and he is called wonderful counselor. The mighty God, forever lasting father, the Prince of Peace. At the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end. These prophecies are not limited just to the birth of Jesus. If you've read other religious documents or studied different cultures, you know that there's this whole cosmic idea of the Christmas story.
It's an idea that's true for all of humankind, not just the Christian sect. It's true for all kinds for all time and all humanity because we each on our own journeys come into our own individual awareness just as Jesus did because we are always growing. We're always changing. We change our thoughts, our beliefs, and our values each and every day. We are born on this planet into a family that has its own idea of what life is about. It’s not necessarily wrong. It's just where they're at as a family unit, right? I don't think I'm the only person whose family has a concept of what life might be about. Most people have their beliefs and what they value in life. We continue to do our own search to find our own truth. I think that's part of the path for each of us. We change what our beliefs are as part of that journey. A lot of us leave our early religious practices and find a new way. Most people in Unity have left some other religious practice (or no practice) and come into Unity.
In that search we find ourselves illuminated by spirit. What I mean by that is that energetic presence that when we're all together moves in and through us. I don't know how many of you have experienced this here in this sacred space; I think most of us probably have. I've heard the stories of when you come in the door and sit down. You just cry for the first time, or you feel this overwhelming sense of being home. I'm sure that doesn't just happen in the sanctuary. I'm sure it happens in other religions and other places because there's a common thread in our own awakening and awareness that there's something greater for all of us.
We follow that light from the east, that inner wisdom that grows into our intuition, whatever you want to call your practice. When we go within ourselves and connect with that source, it radiates this light and connects us together as that love. The Bible talks about Jesus as our savior. In Unity, we call Jesus our way-shower. So what's the difference? Why was this child born as the savior? Why do we see Jesus as a way-shower for us? What I found through my practice, readings, and search is that we find and save ourselves from our own misconceptions of life, through our own error of thinking. We become the savior in that instance, when we manifest that love and that joy and radiate out into the world.
If you read Luke 2:11 "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people for there is born to you this day in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord." 
We know that Christ Consciousness is in each of us and is born in us. It's our foundation. When we find it and begin to awaken it, great joy comes through. We see life differently. We see that love radiating and that abundance thinking that there are no limits. There are only possibilities. We see the healing in ourselves and we transform through that healing.
Charles Fillmore, our co-founder at Unity, talked about the relationship of Jesus Christ and how it bears on the human family. He talked about it in the letter in 1936 to one of our Unity ministers. You guys are going to know this name if you're from Unity of Louisville, Georgia Tree West, who at this point in time was residing in New York, but had previously been the minister here at Unity of Louisville. In this letter, Charles answers a question concerning Jesus. This is a quote.
"The relationship which Jesus Christ bears to the human family on this planet is somewhat complex and involved even in metaphysical explanation. When we admit that he was one step ahead of us in his race evolution, we have a key that clears up many seeming contradictions. The soul that incarnated in Jesus had attained the glory of the Son of God Consciousness, eons of ages, previously another universe of evolution in which he attains creative power."
Mr. Fillmore goes on, to say "Glorifying through me with the glory which I had with thee before this world was. When the present universe was created, Christ was given the bringing forth of the planetary people to which we belong.”
This happened in Fillmore's thinking because according to the Genesis allegory, all went well with us until the soul of Eve became involved with the pleasure of sensation, serpent, and sought sources of guidance other than the Christ mind or divine mind. There became a gradual degeneration of the whole human family until they were nearly extinct. Something had to be done to save them from the murky darkness of their own sense thoughts. Let me repeat that. Something had to be done to save them from the murky darkness of their sense thoughts.
So Christ then began a series of physical incarnations beginning prehistorically and ending with the incarnation of Jesus to lift humanity. He was compelled by the necessity of soul sympathy to become an intimate associate of the people he sought to help. Soul sympathy is a euphemism for plain old divine love. He became the divine love that made us into the family of souls that we are today. For me, that explains a whole lot of how humanity has evolved, how our souls are all connected, and why we celebrate this man who walked this planet over 2,000 years ago because we are the eternal life.
We are the whole human family, spirit, and soul of the Christ Consciousness - or that oneness that we are all seeking. There is no separation. There is only separation in our thoughts and our actions. The season is about the spiritual awareness that is born in each of us. The purpose is to grow and expand until we retain that power and authority of expressing the greater good until it becomes our Christ Consciousness. We have been saved. We are liberated from our own thinking, limitations, and expressions as we search for the truth of good, which keeps us from suffering. This truth of good allows us to sing out the joy, to live out the joy, to be the joy of life; to take the healing in mind, body, and spirit; to heal our emotions; to grow in consciousness; celebrating together.
The story of Jesus, the celebrating together of this Christmas season, the festive gift-giving wonder of the children creates joy in the world. So if we are not doing it for the joy of the world, let's stop and think about why. Where's the joy? How do you find it?
Find the joy in it. Find the joy in today, let go of the suffering because the truth is really about the good. Joy brings true healing. Finding joy is so important. Material things are not what is important. Joy is what is important because joy brings true healing, and peace comes through the healing. All this brings us to our awareness of our true self, a radiant being of spirit, lifting us up higher and higher into that Christ Consciousness. This is the story of the life of all humanity. Divine love is your true nature. Divine life is your true gift.