“A literal interpretation of the virgin birth story keeps everyone from the amazing truth of who they are. It is the SPIRIT of the story that matters. It is the spirit of the story that gives us life and sets us free. It is the PEARL OF WISDOM tucked away inside the SHELL OF THE STORY that we must concern ourselves with.”
(From “Birth of Christ” by Jacob Israel)
I have read Jacob Israel’s revelatory blog about the birth of Christ. It is always refreshing and life-giving to see the scriptures through the eyes of the Spirit (in us) instead of the eyes of the flesh (which mainstream christianity sometimes tends to do), as it ministers life and peace.
“For to be carnally minded (law minded, thinking we must do in order to become) is death (or condemnation), but to be spiritually minded (grace minded, knowing we are already beloved and innocent) is life and peace.” Romans 8:6
“for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” 2 Corinthians 3:6
2 Corinthians goes on to say the letter or the literal interpretation of scripture in terms of seeing it as a list of dos and don’ts (law) is the ministry of death or the ministry of condemnation, but the ministry of the Spirit that teaches us all things and unveils to us our true identity in Christ gives us liberty and causes us to be transformed from glory to glory as we behold our original glory in the face of Christ our true self within us.
So the usual Christmas story about the literal birth of Jesus by a historical virgin Mary actually can minister death and condemnation because it perpetuates the illusion of separation, as people think Jesus is separate from them. To me, as long as there is this illusion of separation, people will be susceptible to feel guilty or condemned by an external Jesus even though they may see him as a saviour. This is because they will think he is the holy one and they are the sinful ones, and it tends to invoke a sense of self-loathing and abandonment, especially when they think they don’t measure up to God’s so-called standard of “holiness” or they think a literal Jesus is going to come back one day and they are afraid to be “left behind” for whatever reasons. That is one big reason to avoid evangelical churches, no matter how “grace-based” they profess themselves to be.
Jacob Israel’s perspective on the spiritual meaning of the Christmas story mostly resonates with me. He has shown through some relevant verses how it is about birthing Christ within us, such as:
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Yes, Paul was preaching grace to the Galatians, telling them to forsake legalism and be established in their true identity as sons of God – “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus… for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatisn 3:26-29) To me, to have faith in Christ Jesus simply means to cultivate awareness and live mindful that Christ is their true identity, and even if they don’t believe, it doesn’t change the fact that Christ is their true identity. Believing the gospel simply has the benefit of changing their experience of living their lives, knowing they are beloved, innocent and precious. They will overcome self-loathing and inferiority complex and experience peace and joy within. When they realise their nature and identity is Love, they will end up loving themselves and loving others.
I also like the conclusion of his blog about coming to maturity:
“But the CHILD (the TRUTH WITHIN US) will grow strong. Slowly but surely it will make the OLDER UNDERSTANDING serve the YOUNGER UNDERSTANDING. And everything in our lives change. We will find along the way, sometimes we LOSE this GREAT TRUTH… As Joseph and Mary did when they were LOOKING FOR IT AMONG THEIR KINSFOLK… You see you cannot FIND CHRIST in the WORLD you can ONLY FIND CHRIST in the TEMPLE (within YOU)… And for a while, as CHRIST was subject to MARY AND JOSEPH, OUR TRUE NATURE (christ) will be subject to our EGO NATURE… But as that TRUTH GROWS inside, we will say as John said.
“CHRIST MUST INCREASE, I MUST DECREASE”
Then we CHRIST comes to maturity IN US. We too will say, I CAN DO NOTHING OF MYSELF. We will understand we can ONLY DO WHAT GOD WILLS. For GOD is in control of ALL.
Soon everything (every thought/belief) will be put under the SON (child of God) and when that happens, we will no longer go to THE SON to know GOD for we will be THE SON and we will know the FATHER, and then we will put EVERYTHING UNDER THE FATHER. So GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL… But that my friends it another essay for another day.”
(From “Birth of Christ” by Jacob Israel)
This reminds me about Ephesians 4 about “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” – yes, the allegorical meaning of the whole scripture is a mirror of our lives – how each of us comes to know our true self and overcome the ego or false self (that is built on worldly labels and attachments), and rest in the knowledge we are beloved divine beings on a human journey. As the gospel of inclusion continues to be shared (in various forms, even using other terminologies such as Buddha Nature, archetypal Christ self, Ascended Master, etc, as long as it points to the truth of who we really are in essence), more and more people will come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. I believe we are, as a whole, coming to maturity even as we are living in the new age of Aquarius (knowing we are one and we are all connected to Love and Peace).
On a similar note, I came across this quote just now and I agree with the meaning of Christmas as it relates to the above blog about the birth of Christ from a spiritual perspective as I learnt earlier.
“Christmas is not a time, nor a season, but a state of mind.”
Yes, Christmas – Christ in us, the HOPE of GLORY – is our state of mind in higher consciousness and our heavenly experience on earth.
With this in mind, merry Christmas, everyone!
“Birth of Christ” by Jacob Israel
“Christmas for mystics” ~ Marianne Williamson