FAITH – PEACE
– LOVE – JOY
For many of us the holiday season holds a variety of
Weather these traditions stem from our families, our
communities, our churches and or our ethical backgrounds,
Whatever the case may be we try our best to keep them
going because our families or the church has celebrated the holiday season in certain ways that are meaningful
It is during this holiday season that we see candles,
wreaths, Christmas trees, lights, candy canes, and many more symbols of the season.
They are all meaningful to us, each in different ways but
have one common denominator, they are meant to be “reminders”
Our traditions are to help us remember what this holiday
season is all about, what is the reason for the season?
Each of our traditions and all of our rituals are meant to
be a preparation for something much greater than our outside activities.
It doesn’t matter what we do or what religion or church we
belong to what matters is our awareness of the spirit of God that dwells within you and me, each of us – all
We can take the meaning of our traditions into our hearts
and use them as a preparation for the spiritual rebirth of our inner divinity, our Christ
This time of preparation for many is referred to as the
advent season, a season of expectation in the arrival of our greatest gift.
Every advent season, “Silent Unity”, the unity movements
prayer ministry, puts out an advent booklet to use in preparation for Christmas.
This advent booklet is written especially to help guide us
with living in an awareness of the Christ spirit within.
“Christmas in my heart,” is the theme for this year’s
The readings and stories presented offer a unique
explanation of both a spiritual and secular meaning to this celebrated holiday season.
A tradition at Unity in the Pines concerns our advent
wreath on the altar.
The white candle in the center represents our Christ
light, or our spiritual essence, the four candles around it represent each of the four Sundays in advent, our
gifts of faith, peace, love and joy.
Faith, peace, love and joy are spiritual gifts and an
integral part of our divinity.
We have the choice to call on and use these gifts at any
time to transform and transcend our life into joy and happiness.
Today is the first Sunday of advent where we are to call
upon our gift of faith.
During the holiday season, both children and adults spend
a great deal of time hoping for that one special gift to be under the tree.
What many people don’t realize is that everything they
could ever need is already being provided for us by a loving giving limitless God.
There may be times in our lives especially during the
holiday season, when it appears that the resources we desire aren’t available to us.
But we must remember the words of Jesus to his Disciples,
“Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you have already received it.”
The universe provides for us but we must truly believe
that the goodness of God is always available.
This is how we practice our spiritual gift of
The second Sunday of advent represents our gift of
We read in the scriptures that the peace of God is always
Many people feel peace more strongly during the holiday
season than at any other time of the year.
I think part of the reason may be in the many holiday
traditions that bring us together.
Traditions such as decorating our homes, gathering for
meals, exchanging gifts and greetings cards, helping those in need or attending candlelight
Of course, it’s not what we do that brings peace but the
love we put into what we do that brings peace.
Jesus, who represents to us in consciousness our spiritual
awareness, was consciously one with God and could turn to his inner source of love, peace, compassion and wisdom
at any moment, “Peace, be still!” He commanded of the storm.
Our spiritual awareness is what calls us to be peace
Let peace take precedence in your heart this season and
let the “Christmas in your heart,” shine brightly.
Our peace is not something we wait for, peace is a gift we
But we must be willing to let go of doubts and fears that
prevent us from using our gift of peace.
The third Sunday of advent represents our gift of
Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore wrote,
“For peace to be permanent, the divine law of love must be
incorporated in our peace agreements, and in the hearts of those who sign them.”
“Peace involves mutual respect and confidence between
people and nations. It must be constructed patiently with unshakable faith.”
Our four gifts are connected in the oneness of
There are times when holiday crowds and traffic can be
very nerve racking, but we can always look at things differently.
When we remember that love is our true nature we can
change those “stressing” times into times of “blessings.”
We can bring our thoughts and awareness back to the
present moment for it is in the present moment where God meets us.
We can use these times of being out and about to engage in
random acts of kindness and courtesy.
Smile at others: send loving thoughts, graciously allow
someone to cut in front of you.
When we bless others we are blessed in
The fourth Sunday of advent represents our gift of
There is a real joy felt when we receive something from
someone that we treasure, or we witness the joy and excitement that occurs when we give someone else something
that is of great value to them.
In this season of giving, we may put much effort into
finding that right and perfect gift that we miss the fullness that lies in the true joy of
We can miss the fullness of love and appreciation that the
gift is meant to convey.
We read in first Timothy 4: 14, “Do not neglect the gift
that is in your heart.”
We add spiritual value to our giving when we realize that
the joy of giving comes through us from our higher self.
This is the true “Christmas in your heart,” the
re-birthing of our spiritual essence.
When we thank the universe for every gift that we receive
and every gift that we give, we find new spiritual wisdom and strength to do all things
Joy, like the air we breathe, is an essential part of our
lives and it is in the awareness of the presence of God that we find our greatest joy.
Christmas isn’t really about presents – it’s about
At this time of year, we are called to be more presence to
We wish “Merry Christmas” and or “Happy Holidays” to
strangers in public, donate time and money to help others, and travel great distances to see those we
Yes, there are to-do lists and seemingly endless errands,
but during the holiday season there is also a greater sense of connection and good will.
When we make a connection with someone, we see them as
part of us.
And we can suddenly realize we are all the same, not on
the outside, but on the inside.
Let us celebrate “Christmas in our hearts this
Let us be willing to allow the walls of indifference to
dissipate and replace that programming with faith, peace, love and joy.
I invite you this holiday season to take the time to pause
and remember the birth of Jesus and the rebirth of the Christmas in your heart.