by Rev. Steve Colladay
A favorite scripture says it all:
“For to you is born this day in the city of David
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”–Luke2:11
One gift all are given and many choose to accept is the Christ. God gave His very best to humankind—Jesus was His name, Christ is what He became. Jesus was not called the Christ Child at birth, nor the Messiah, Savior, or Lord. He was not born with a halo around his head. Most biblical scholars suggest that Jesus grew up the same way that other children did. He didn’t appear to be some super-human being, but seemed to have a quick mind and the book that he was most familiar with was the scriptures…
Jesus was his name, but he became Christ, Christos, meaning the anointed one. When did he become the Christ? Some would say gradually, some would say at his baptism. What do you believe?
Unity accepts the virgin birth as an experience in the unfoldment of the individual consciousness, and finds in it a deep metaphysical significance. Thus the virgin birth is spiritually interpreted as the birth of the Christ consciousness (the awakening of the awareness of God’s Spirit within) in the purified soul.
This Christmas I invite you to join me in reviewing your beliefs about and relationship with Jesus the Christ.
Some people would say that God’s one and only son is Jesus of Nazareth, but Unity offers a different view: the Son of God is not a person, the Son of God is the Real Self of every person. THERE IS ONE SPIRIT IN ALL HUMANKIND, not one spirit in one person. Some would say that this belief denies the divinity of Jesus, but Unity teaches that yes, the spirit of God dwelt in Jesus, just as that same Spirit of God is within every person; and therefore every person has the potential to express the perfection of Christ, as Jesus did, by being more Christ-like in everyday life. You have that potential.
This Christmas I invite you to join me in reviewing your beliefs about and relationship with Jesus the Christ. Let us open ourselves to a powerful gift from God that keeps on giving–-Jesus the Christ.
A STAR TO FOLLOW
Unity focuses on the teachings of Jesus, on the life-transforming discoveries He made. Why? Because when we study Jesus’ life (instead of worshiping Jesus the man), we see a perfect example for us to follow. After all, was there ever anyone more spiritually centered? Was there ever anyone whose words and actions so exuded love? Was there ever anyone more at peace with Himself and with His life than Jesus? That is why His life and teachings are the examples we can learn from in the quest for the transformation of our own lives.
JESUS THE MAN
So much attention has been paid to Jesus’ divinity that we have overlooked His humanity. He was born fully human, just like the rest of us. He was fully a man. He was tested in the same ways that all of us are tested, but He transcended His humanness and opened the way to self-mastery, to a oneness with God.
Evidence seems to suggest that this self-mastery was a progressive unfoldment, always growing, always expanding. One can see it in His reluctance to begin His ministry at the marriage feast at Cana (Jn.2:4), and in His working through His anger in the temple (Mt.21:12), and in His initial snub of the Canaanite woman who asked help for her daughter (Mt. 15:22-28). It is apparent that Jesus was always working to identify and experience His own spirituality. His teachings and healings are ample testimony to the continual expansion of His consciousness.
WE CAN DO IT TOO
Jesus audaciously insisted that whatever He had done, each of us could do. “He who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do” (John.14:12). That’s a crucial statement, absolutely central to your transformation, because it tells you that you can experience the same spiritual insights that Jesus had. He is promising you conscious communion with God, if you will search the spiritual depths within yourself as He did.
JESUS THE “CHRIST”
Jesus is saying to follow His way and discover the secrets of your inner-Self–the Christ in you–as He has discovered the Christ in Himself. “Christ” is not Jesus’ last name. The word “Christ” comes from the Greek word “Christos”, meaning “the anointed.” “Christ” is a title reserved for anyone who becomes aware of and fully realizes the depths of his or her divine possibilities as Jesus did.
Even more importantly, Christ is God individualized in each of us. It is the name of the divinity within us. It is our pattern for perfection. “Christ” is not the name of someone born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. (That was Jesus.) The Christ is an aspect of God. It has existed since the beginning of time. It is the identification of our highest degree of spiritual potential. The “real” you is your Christ self–your spirit.
Jesus was so aware of this presence of God in Him that He became one with It: “I and the Father are one” (Jn. 10:30), and so we call Him Jesus the Christ or Jesus Christ. He was not God made man. He was man becoming more Godlike.
When we talk about Jesus, we are talking about a soul so highly evolved that He became the perfect example of the God potential in each of us. That is what Jesus was, and is, all about: finding unity with God and thereby discovering the Christ power within. That’s what you are all about too. That is what our journey of spiritual rediscovery is all about.