Christmas preparations are 95% under control (next year I really do have to figure out how to simplify this thing—for real) so am going to try to say something, here:
First Off/Let’s be Clear: I am not saying that Barack Obama is Jesus Christ, okay? In this season of both glad tidings/hope/ “Oh, come let us adore him,” and seriously compromised effort (the health care bill, what didn’t happen in Copenhagen), however, my president and my Inward Teacher have weirdly blended together in my mind.
I’d been hoping to bring this confusing co-mingling to meeting for worship this past Sunday but the big snowstorm and very few people showing up meant I played one of the Wise Men for our Meeting’s Christmas pageant instead. So bear with me; I haven’t gotten very far.
Re Obama: Like the “Jesus Christ Superstar” song goes: “He’s just one man.” Again and again while campaigning, Obama told us: “I am not going to do this (whatever promise he was taking about) alone.” But I, weary at heart, was oh-so-yearning to worship and adore. (And, let’s be honest, the fact that he’s our first president of color means my belief in the guy verged on hero-worship. As readers of Way Opens know, I do this.) So when President Obama commited 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and didn’t single-handedly pull off a Christmas Miracle in Copenhagen, I was crushed.
Re Inward Teacher: My take on the Good News is this: Again and again Jesus was telling us, reminding us that God/Spirit/Higher Power is here, is now, is present. His followers, then and now, weary at heart, yearned/yearn for him to take away the sins of the world, to give us rest, to comfort, to save us. But I believe he was trying to say something quite different: God’s love is within you. Open your heart to that love. That love, that power is your salvation.
What the world learned from Copenhagen is the same message that our former community-organizer president is telling us and what Jesus—and Ghandi—taught: Change happens inwardly first, it happens when two or more are gathered, it often happens in spite of elected officials—and, might I add, when women and children’s voices are heard and supported. “When the people lead, leaders will follow.” A global response to climate change will happen because voices from non-super powers will make it happen.I truly believe this.
Our Inward Teacher, aka the Prince of Peace, brought us glad tidings. Spread the Word.