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The Power and Glory (of Children)

I’m always struck that in the story of the nativity, Jesus Christ, the Saviour, is not born in a palace but in a stable, surrounded by animals and simple shepherds.

The King of the World is not an Emperor or politician but a new-born baby. What power could a wailing infant have?

Well, he is absolutely innocent and pure because he is brand new to the world. He lives outside of time, the chains of the past and the endless road into the future do not bind him. He is living presence, shining brightly in the here-now.

He has not become tangled up in an identity and role, a culture or dogma, but is new, fresh and open. He has not yet become bored or dissatisfied with life: life is magical, life is the miracle.

Christ the new-born has no ego, no self, no separation. He is the King of the World because he is the world. He does not need to take it by force, it is his – effortlessly.

And perhaps this is why becoming a parent can be such a transformative experience: our children invite us into their world, a world unlike ours which is the world of mind, thought, time and money, worth and judgement, complications and separate competing selves.

Infants cannot enter this world so we must bow to theirs. We must leave our clever ego’s at the nursery door, meeting them in their wonderful timelessness. We must bow to that freshness, that urgent now-ness and exchange our overthinking for the freedom of sheer play.

And perhaps this is what the nativity points to, that what we seek is found in the most humble of places, where the divine hides as the ordinary, the lowly and the worthless.

Are we willing to cherish simplicity, vulnerability, non-attachment, openess, compassion, playfulness and presence?

Can we see our own lives and the lives of those around us through the eyes of simple being?

Can we be child-like, without being childish?

The Kingdom of Heaven is all there is, if you can see it.

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