25 December 2018 Christmas Day (0230)
The doors of Christmas. Notes for a homily.
You find yourself in a softly lit room, alone, quiet. You may hear voices in the distance, but you do not attend to them. You are you alone, standing in a room with doors, perhaps many doors. You do not count them. You look at some of them. If you do not open a door and pass through, you will not find what is there. Only if you open the door and pass through do you find the gift of Christmas, the gift of God.
Through one door you enter into sheer gratitude and thankfulness, for the many gifts given to you, and which you gratefully received: for life, for loves, for beauty in many forms, for refreshment, and peace and joy, and for the trials of life through which you have passed, or are even now passing. Gratitude and light fill your heart and mind and soul.
Through another door you enter into sheer joy, a lifting up and out that is self-forgetfulness, as you are overcome with the lightness of a joyful and merry heart. You may dance, you may sing, you may take a lost loved one by the hand, but you feel whole, and at home at last.
Through another door you softly step, and immediately are overcome by sheer beauty, by the shining presence of the unspeakable, unsearchable goodness and mercy. And you are filled with awe and wonder, and gently drop to your knees, and just silently gaze. All else is far from you.
Through another door you walk across the threshold, passing under the wood that frames the door, and immediately you lower your head, your eyes turned towards the ground. You dare not raise your eyes, as you are utterly humbled by the sheer humility of the One coming right now, even to you, just as you are, asking nothing, demanding nothing from you, just presenting himself, herself, itself to you. And you are filled with the humility of the One who became one with us, there and here, then and now.
You open another door, and pass through. All is dark and still, but you feel no fear. Your heart and mind are utterly stilled, and you feel the peace of God that surpasses all understanding come over you, and fill you. Nothing is lacking, nothing is heard or seen, but inexpressible peace that is bliss itself.
You may enter yet another door, and you know at once that you are not alone. You are no longer just you, but you and your beloved, together, one. There is no separation, no distance, no tension, but sheer loving union. You are dissolved into an all-beautiful, unbounded You. Now you are one in the Other, who is one in You. Such a love transforming the beloved into the Lover.
These are the doors of Christmas. There may be others for you to find. The point is: enter through the door, enter into the hidden joy, enter into the peace and light with wonder and gratitude. Here you are home, here you are all one in the One that loves you utterly, as you are, here and now.
Merry and Christ-filled Christmas to each and to all.
Wm. P. McKane
25 December 2018