At Table

Lord, it is Christmas Eve morning. I and the rest of the western world are about ready to go into overdrive, all in the name of celebrating Your birth. Supposedly. You had such humble beginnings; all this must make You sad, right?

Revelry and festivity aren’t the issues. My first earthly miracle was to transform water into wine, good wine, the best vintage wine, at a wedding feast, remember? My feasting and association with those of lesser social and spiritual status deeply offended the Pharisees, remember? Don’t be a Pharisee in your thinking. Don’t honor asceticism for its own sake. What did I preach against and warn against most during My time on earth? Greed. Selfishness. Prejudice. Pride.

What did I applaud? Sharing with others, especially those less fortunate. Forgiving others, especially those that seemed to deserve it the least. Welcoming others, especially those rejected by the prideful and arrogant. Loving others, especially those outside your own circles of interest.

Of all the laws in place at the time, which did I say were most important? The Love Laws. Love God, Love Neighbor, and yes, Love Yourself. But notice the order. To love someone means to consider that person’s needs, wants, likes, and dislikes; to pay attention to what that person says and does; to spend time with that person. Love God First isn’t a command born out of Divine ego, as we have talked about before. I ask humanity to Love God first, because each of you was made for Love. Each of you was made for a relationship that is pure and empowering, that is free and fulfilling, in every way. That Love relationship is found first in Me, in connecting with Me. I ask you to Love Others second, because the natural outcome of loving is giving and sharing, and you need tangible, physical, human ways to do that. Once you are ignited by Love, by My Love, then that Love needs outlets for expression beyond the times of prayerful conversation we have. You hear Me, but in your heart and mind. You see My Loving Hand at work in your world and in your circumstances, but you cannot yet see Me face to face. You touch My world but your hands have not embraced Me yet. So you need outlets and expressions for this new capacity you have for Love, and that is where your families, your friends, your neighbors, and yes, the whole world of strangers, comes in. This is the arena of loving others.

I ask you to Love Yourself alongside Loving Neighbor, Loving Others. Love Your Neighbor As Yourself. I make those two equal. Ah, you never thought of that! You tend to rank them 1, 2, 3. No, it is really, A, and B/B. God, and Neighbor/Self. I phrased this way because so many reverse the order, putting themselves first, a select group of others second, and Me last — if at all. But cutting yourself off from Love’s source soon dries up the well. Soon you have no love to give and share. The result of that is not only a selfish life, but a bitter, withered, shriveled life, a life in which people also neglect themselves, neglect their health, their body, their emotional life, and their spirit.

So by all means feast! Be festive! Be merry! If you do your feasting and revelry in My Name, in My Spirit, and AS IF I were present (which of course I Am), you will never make a wrong choice, say the wrong thing, or have regrets on the day after the holiday.  Just set a place for Me at your Table, not just tonight, not just tomorrow, but every day of your life.