A Christmas Message

The original author of this Christmas Message is HOWARD RAY CAREY from his 1988 Book “The Joy of Christ’s Coming”
In the gospel according to Matthew we read how king Herod
sent his soldiers to Bethlehem in an attempt to find and destroy
the infant Jesus (instrument of the Christ). Why did he try this
dastardly deed? Because Herod had been told that the Christ
was to be king. And that paranoid old monarch would tolerate
no threat to his own selfish reign.
This of course is a parable or allegory of the battle which
rages at some time, or times, within each human being. The
‘Herod’ of our lower nature organizes fierce battles against the
developing Christ consciousness. For this personality nature —-
with its lusts, its fears, its rage and its pride —- is afraid that the
Christ power of love and wisdom is indeed destined to gain the
upper hand in our life. Thus these dark aspects of our life will
have to be banished or transformed, their ‘turf’ and their reign
in our system handed over to the inner Christ. How threatened
these old rulers become! For they have been in command so
very long —- through so many lives —- that they will not easily
give up our entrenched habits. They work up a storm of sound
and fury. Or so I have found it to be in my life.
But when they do surrender to the light, love and joy of the
Christ nature, what glorious transformation takes place! Lust is
replaced by love; fear by trust; resentment by goodwill; and
pride melts into joyous humility and confidence. Then, like the
prodigal son, we know that ‘we have come to ourselves’ and are
joyfully on our way home to the Father’s House, the eternal
Monad or Spirit within.
So let us give heed to this question: are our thoughts, utterances,
and deeds at times giving aid and comfort to the old
‘Herod’ nature (which is sometimes called the ‘shadow’ or the
‘Dweller on the Threshold’)? Or are we succeeding in our effort
to help the Christ power to take increasing control of all aspects
of our nature?

Truly this is an urgent question. For the Christ has duly
warned us: ‘‘He who is not with me is against me. And he who
gathers not, scatters.’’ (Matthew 12:30) What? Is there no neutral
ground? Well, if there is, it is in the process of yielding
rapidly either to Christ or Herod; to the Angel of the Presence
or the fiendish old Dweller on the Threshold. Probably all of us
who ponder on such thoughts as these would like to yield all to
the Christ, if it just didn’t take so much herculean effort. Why
are our old habits of thought, words, and ways of behavior so
stubborn? Why does it take such dedication and devotion and
power of will to change them? Maybe it is because of their long
entrenched rule. For so long they have reigned with such power.
And, as we have been told so many times, ‘power corrupts’.
An indication of such corruption may be found in some desire
on our part, conscious or unconscious, to cling to the old
selfish pleasures we know so well. Sometimes we want to take
another fling at the old indulgences: like pleasure, prejudice,
pride and personal power. Sometimes there is a hidden fear that
when Christ takes control in us our treasures of tinsel and baubles
—- which still glitter like false gold —- will be snatched
from us. So we are afraid we will stand bereft of life’s richness.
How deeply glamoured we have become in thus clinging to the
old, empty treasure pouches of the past. Could we but see
clearly, we would know that, when Christ rules in our lives, the
tinsel will be transmuted into pure gold; the turbulent emotions
of fear and rage transformed into serenity and bliss; and the
proud towers of separative thought converted into the true citadel
for the expression of the ruling Spirit or Monad. What a
transformation, what joy, what victory! Truly it awaits us all
when we are ready for it.

How then do we strengthen the forces of Christ within us —-
and induce the old negative powers to yield? Since we are approaching
the mystic season of Christmas, let us look at some of
the symbols connected with this new birth. For they can have
deep meaning within us for our transformation. Some of these
characters and events are related to us in the gospel according to
Luke, others in Matthew. They have esoteric meaning for us
when we learn to look at them as aspects of an important drama
unfolding within us.

Let us think of Joseph as representing our concrete mind;
Mary as a symbol of our heart center —- where the New Birth or
first initiation is said to take place. We can think of the watching
shepherds as disciples who are awake to the heavenly music
or angel songs within. And the Magi as Great Beings who always
are present to help usher into our lives the Christ life and
power.

In our inner pilgrimage from the reign of Herod to that of
Christ, let us proceed without delay to our Bethlehem. We are
not to think it beneath our dignity to enter the stable of the domestic
animals, and thus make provision for the Christ consciousness
to be born in the lowly level of our physical or animal
nature. Are we ready to listen to those awakened disciples
who hear and heed the angel song of peace, of goodwill, and the
good news of sharing? If so, we can welcome the three kings or
Magi, the three aspects of our inner divinity —- light, love and
will or power, the sovereigns of our own being which follow the Christmas star of initiation or New Birth which shines out above
us as soon as we are ready. Let us gladly accept their proffered
gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh —- not for our little selves,
but as treasures to pour out in sharing with the needy world.
Then we need to let Joseph, the rational mind, transport us far
from Herod’s jealous reach to the Egypt of life’s inner mysteries;
where the Christ life in us can grow to full maturity —- as
St. Paul puts it: ‘‘unto the measure of the stature of the fullness
of Christ.’’

Thus, when we dwell in the Christ consciousness, His love
and wisdom will be able to find expression through us. In this
crucial hour of humanity’s need, let us renew our dedication to the divine Plan. Then through creative meditation, right speech,
wise action and true sharing we can do our part. In this way we
may stand assured that the ‘ounces of our weight’ and the power
of our love will really assist in banishing the Herods of our day
(and of our own lives). Thus we can really count, by helping to
bring in the reign of Christ —- the way of love, justice, and
sharing —- to include all our sisters and brothers on this spaceship
earth. Let us rejoice, and let the angel chorus resound
within us.