(Published in The Indian Express December 25, 2020)
When Jesus was born, a great star appeared in the sky over Bethlehem to herald the coming of Christ. Three wise men from the East saw this star and came on their camels to meet and worship the newborn babe. They found him in a manger and gave him gifts. They recognised this child as a Divine soul.
This year, on December 21, 2020, a sign in the heavens was given as there was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. The brightest seen since the year 1226. It is also said that this is heralding the Age of Aquarius, which is believed to be a new era where there will be a powerful surge of spiritual consciousness on the planet.
Christmas is a great day to look at the year gone by and process everything you experienced in that particular year. Christmas is a day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ but it is also a day that we celebrate the year gone by as we prepare for the coming year ahead.
Should Christmas of the year 2020 be any different?
Well it is different because the year 2020 has been an unprecedented year! It started off in a grand way. The beginning of a new decade. Like the years 1717, 1818 and 1919 before it, 2020 is one of those years that comes only once every 101 years, where the first two digits are the same as the last two. The next time this type of year comes by will be in 2121.
So right from the beginning, 2020 came with something unique in our collective minds. But what a ride it’s been. Nobody could have imagined all the things that would happen.A global pandemic spread throughout the planet and forced nations to lock down.
Covid 19 brought the whole world to its knees. New terms that were hardly of any consequence in our global consciousness last Christmas have been branded into our collective global consciousness like – masks, lockdown, travel bans and social distancing.
We all were forced to stay at home and that left us no choice but to look inwards and introspect. Many people fell into depression, loneliness and sadness. People all around the globe suffered financial challenges because of lost jobs and failing businesses. People got infected and fell sick and hundreds of thousands bid goodbye to this planet and set sail back to the spiritual realms from which we have all come.
But despite all this, there was something interestingly good about the year. 2020 was a great gift to humankind!
We all experienced something together as a species. It taught us valuable lessons. It made us realise in the most dramatic and almost cinematic way that the important things in life are our relationships with each other and that we are all literally ‘in the same boat’.
Videos and social media posts from various platforms popped up showing us how the lockdown affected people’s lives in remote corners of the world and this brought a strange type of relief, joy, happiness and camaraderie. It has shown us that we are quite literally all equally vulnerable and that as the fictional Jack Shephard from the famous TV show Lost says, “If we can’t live together, we are going to die alone!”
The virus sees not one’s religion, financial condition, gender, political views, nationality, caste, creed or colour. The virus is the great leveler.Not just the virus but many other things that happened in the world this year strengthened the bond of people all over the world. There were riots, floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes in various parts of the world. But despite that, there was hope! For through a mass scale global effort of science despite the odds, the year 2020 has seen both virus and vaccine!
Remember earlier when I mentioned we are all ‘in the same boat’? There is a story of Jesus in the Bible about this:Jesus Calms the Storm (Luke 8:22-25)
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
In times of crisis, it is natural to be afraid. It is natural to get negative thoughts. But this is the time to pray for faith. For faith leads to perseverance, tenacity and resolutions of the challenges we face.
Christmas is a time to reflect and process the events of the year. What did you learn spending time with yourself? What did you learn about your loved ones and family? Have you counted how many things there are to be thankful for? Going forward, how will you change yourself in order to change the world for the better? We are all very lucky to be living in these highly spiritual and eventful times. This is a year that historians will be writing about for centuries. It is a year that marks the beginning of a new era of humanity.2020 has been a year unlike no other experienced by anyone alive on this planet.
On this Christmas Day 2020, I bring you good news! We will survive and things will get better. We have all gotten through this together. We remember those who we have lost but we know they are still alive in the spiritual realms, where we will all return someday. But there is no hurry. There is much to do still.You are not alone! Even if it feels like that sometimes. The ride can be scary but we are in it together.
This year has been called by many as the ‘Great Awakening’. For many have felt our connection. We are souls who have come here to explore and bring the love and light of God to everyone else.
This Christmas let us celebrate the lessons we learned this year. Let us celebrate our connection. This year like never before, we felt connected as a global civilisation. We realised that the important things in life are not connected to material things but they are connected to freedom, to exploring, to seeking, to learning, to loving and to being one world connected together.
Like the star that shone the night of Christ’s birth, let your light shine! Let the love and light of Christ be reborn within you! Keep introspecting within and soon like the wise men found the Christ child, we may find the Divine light and love of God within us or the Christ consciousness within us.
Let us be thankful to God to be alive! Let us be thankful that we are all connected! Let us aim to do our bit to make the world a better place. After 2020, we now welcome 2021. In this new year, let us resolve to tackle our individual, local, national and global problems without being afraid and having hope and faith that things will get better.
Peace be unto you and yours! Be God’s Love! Be God’s Light!I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year 2021.