Edited transcript of YouTube video presented by
Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.
Today we are going to talk about Christmas, it being the Christmas season. First, Happy Holidays to everybody who is watching this. And what will make this a particularly happy holiday is to really give a different way of looking at Christmas.
Clearly, in the origin of the Christmas holiday we are celebrating the birth of Jesus, and so Christmas is really supposed to be all about Jesus. We all know, of course, that that is not the way it is played out in the world, which is Christmas now has become a big commercial holiday rather than a religious or spiritual one. But another way of looking at Christmas and yet keeping to the idea of making it about Jesus is not making it about Jesus as a seemingly historical figure, not going back into the myths of the gospels and build a whole series of legends about it and then worshiping and celebrating what appears to be the little birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, et cetera. But rather making it about Jesus in terms of making it about looking at the world not just during the Christmas season but looking at the world the way he sees it, not the way we see it.
In a message I frequently refer to in my teaching, when Helen had asked Jesus what she should say to somebody who was in need of help, and Jesus' response to her was, "Don't ask me what you should say. In other words, don't ask me what your behavior should be, rather ask me to help you look at this person through the eyes of peace and not judgment." That's making the relationship about Jesus. That's what it would mean to make everything about him, asking his help that we look at the situation, at an event, at an experience and a relationship the way he would, looking at it through the eyes of peace and not judgment.
When we look at a situation or a relationship through the eyes of judgment, we are only looking at it through the lens of our own neediness. How could this situation best serve me or those people with whom I identify? How could this relationship best serve my special needs? How could this circumstance be used in such a way that I would feel better or feel better about myself, feel better about other people? In other words, how could I make this work for me so I would be happy and peaceful—not happy and peaceful with the peace of God, which would be an experience that would embrace all people, all the time, and in all circumstances—but happy and peaceful as the world defines it, namely that I get my needs met?
To look at a situation or a relationship through the eyes of peace as Jesus was asking Helen to do means that I look at it through his peace which, again, is a peace that embraces all people all the time without exception. That's what it would mean this season to make your relationships, make every day be about him, not the Jesus of seeming history, not the Jesus of the Bible, but the Jesus who is a presence, a symbol of love in your mind that is a love that is not of this world, a love that is outside the ego's version of love, i.e., special love. It's going to him for help and saying, not as many Christians do, what would Jesus do? But how would Jesus think? How would Jesus look at this situation?
If you did this each and every time you are tempted to indulge your specialness, to justify your anger, to justify why you are justified in feeling despairing of your lot in life, and you say, well, how would Jesus look at this? How would he look at me? How would he look at this person? Then everything would be turned upside down or basically right side up because now you would be realizing everything here is an opportunity to go back within and choose again.
So making this Christmas season about Jesus means looking through the eyes of his vision, rather than the ego's judgment. It's looking through his eyes at someone and everyone and realizing how you are the same as everyone else.
Judgment differentiates, which means judgment attacks. Vision unites and sees everyone as the same. That's how Jesus looks at all of us. We are the same as he is, just as he taught right at the beginning of the text that he's no different from us in any way except in time, and time does not exist.
As our older brother, Jesus’ purpose is to teach us, his younger brothers and sisters, how to grow up and be like him, how to look at the world not through the lens of our own neediness, demanding that other people exist only to meet our needs. But rather see every situation as a holy encounter, every relationship as a holy encounter as the text says, so that we could remember that we are all the same.
By remembering that we are all the same, having Jesus be our teacher and our guide, we will then awaken from this dream of differentiation and separation and specialness to the unity of God's Son as He was created in Heaven. But to do this, first we must see everyone as the same; and to be able to see everyone as the same, we have to call upon the teacher of sameness. We have to make this season about Jesus which would then make our entire lives from this time on all about him and his wondrous vision of seeing everyone as the same. Merry Christmas!