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A NEW YEAR, A NEW YOU!


Three Kings on camels walking under a red, star-lit sky
We Three Kings Celebrate the New You - Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

 

 

A new year, a new you, is the phrase that has been coming to me spontaneously when I see people and wish them a Happy New Year.

 

Easier said than done, I find. But I’m trying….

 

I started the new year by growing a moustache, which I haven’t had for a while. So far, compliments that it looks good. And I need a haircut too….

 

I plan on getting new glasses from a shop here in Paris, a shop where (I heard) the proprietor doesn’t allow her customers to pick out their own glasses. Unheard of in the United States!

 

Instead, she picks them out for you based on her vision of your personality, facial structure and what looks best on you. I’m excited to see what she picks out, and scared that if I hate them, I’ll insult her by refusing to buy/wear them. Or worse, will spend the money to buy them, then never wear them.

 

My codependency isn’t completely gone, yet.

 

Some new clothes are in the offing too. I need new belts, a new wallet, and new pants – I’ve decided perhaps slacks instead of my ubiquitous black jeans.

 

We’ll see….

 

Superficially, a New Year – a New You – is easy. It just takes some outer alterations. But a truly New Year, and a truly new you take something more. It takes a shift in spiritual consciousness.

 

It takes an Epiphany.

 

Yesterday was January 6, the traditional end of Christmas. You’ve heard the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”? This is the twelfth day.

 

In Christianity, both Eastern and Western, it is Epiphany Sunday. In many countries, it is sometimes called Three Kings' Day, and in some traditions celebrated as Little Christmas.

 

This is the date when the Three Wise Men finally got to Bethlehem to pay homage to the baby Jesus. (They would have gotten there sooner, but they were men and wouldn’t stop to ask for directions.)

 

Anyway….

 

The dictionary defines an epiphany as the appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being. It is when we grasp or realize the meaning of something, intuitively understanding an important idea or a deeper reality through a simple and striking event, or a revealing flash.

 

More simply, an epiphany is an unveiling of wisdom understanding or Truth. Something that had always been there, but hidden to our eyes, is suddenly revealed – and our mind suddenly shifts to a higher level of consciousness.

 

In Unity Church’s Bible Interpretations, Rev. Ed (Rev. Ed Townley) talks about the many contradictions and glaring omissions in the two accounts of Jesus’ birth – Matthew has Wise Men; Luke doesn’t mention any Wise Men, but he has shepherds. Luke has a manger with animals; Matthew doesn’t mention anything about a manger.

 

Then Rev. Ed gets to the reality behind the stories:

 

The point is neither author was intending anything like an accurate, historical description of an event. Neither was either deliberately fudging facts. They were both—in their own ways and for their own readerships—telling the spiritual truth about an event of tremendous significance—an event whose importance could never be expressed or understood with a simple recitation of human facts.

Both Jewish and Greek traditions were filled with stories of 'miraculous' births. It was an accepted and effective way of alerting people that someone important had come on the scene. In our collective consciousness we have understood that through the years. We cheerfully ignore the inherent conflicts between the two versions and weave them together into one magical Christmas story—with shepherds and Wise Men and angels and animals and a stable and an angry king—and yes, a drummer boy if we feel like adding one. 

 

Then he goes on to explain the metaphysical meaning(s) – the substance – that stands underneath the “facts” of the stories. The Truth unveiled.

 

Some say it's about the birth of the Christ, but that's not possible. The Christ is the Light and Love of God, present in each of us. It is… the creative Power of God seeking to express through us. It is, therefore, as eternal as God—it can't be born.  What can be born, however, is our awareness of our true Christ nature.

(Emphasis added)

 

Our Epiphany every Christmas, every New Years, every Epiphany Sunday is the call we hear (if we chose to listen) to be more aware of the God within us, the Light within us, the Christ (a Greek word, Christos, meaning “the Anointed One) that shines within each of us.

 

This Light of God does not need to be born, because it is eternal, shining brightly in us and everyone we meet. The “birth” is the end of our pregnant anticipation, the end of waiting for the veil to drop from our eyes, so we can see the Light and see that it has always been there.

 

Rev. Ed concludes:

 

What Jesus brought to us was a spark of new light, new possibility—a light that shines through the darkness of human confusion and illuminates the spiritual truth of who we are.

 

And it doesn't just happen once. Every Christmas is a new birth—a new opportunity for each of us to give birth to more of the light—and to commit ourselves to nurturing that light, trusting it, believing in its Presence within us, sending it forth with every choice we make to bring more of itself into expression—to create more, and more again, of the new consciousness with which we each of us is miraculously pregnant—the consciousness Jesus describes as “the kingdom of heaven.”  

 

So, new year, new you. It can be new glasses.

 

Or it can be new eyes to see.

 

Matthew 6:22 says, "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”

 

Of this, Rev. Ed says:

 

The eye—singular—is the lamp of the body. What Jesus calls the eye is the source of light, of energy. It is the power in which we place our faith.   When we rely on the evidence of our senses—our double eyes of mortal sight—we are drawing from an energy of duality. We are believing sensory evidence that insists we are separate from each other and from God.

 

When our eye is single, we are relying on the unified light of the Christ Presence within us. We recognize One Presence, One Power. We see clearly, because we see only God in expression wherever we look.

 

So, I will get my new glasses sometime soon. But more importantly, I will continue to develop new eyes, eyes of faith, for the epiphany that helps me to see something newer, something truer – in my heart and in the eyes, hearts, and faces of everyone I meet.

 

Happy New Year!

 

Johnny

 

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