The Christmas Story to Soothe All Hearts
This morning as I was reflecting on this story, I thought of the children and adults who died on December 14. My prayer, from the day of this sadness, has been for these children and adults to be quickly reborn to share the grace and light gained from their sacrifices. Suddenly, I saw clearly that unknown to their families, these children and adults chose to be born to sacrifice their lives. As a Buddhist I believe that we are reborn until we attain enlightenment, which is freedom from all that causes suffering. In Buddhism people can choose to be Bodhisattvas, beings dedicated to returning to physical existence until all sentient beings attain enlightenment. And Buddhism is filled with stories of Bodhisattvas making sacrifices, including their lives, for the benefit of others.
Many cultures see the death of babies and children as signs that these were special souls returning for a brief time to fulfill some greater spiritual purpose. And in Christianity, the one whose birth this holiday season celebrates, chose to make his life a sacrifice.
This story, an African interpretation of the birth of Jesus, has him offer to sacrifice his life, as God’s small son, before he is born on earth, to save people from God’s anger. I trust that the gentleness of this story may bring some comfort to those missing the presence of their most precious loved ones.
Click on the link to hear the story.