This is the last week of the Four Kingdoms of Advent, and we celebrate the Kingdom of Humans. I have written about the Mineral Kingdom, the Plant Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom individually, and we as humans carry the blessings of each of these Kingdoms in our bodies: in our bones and bodies we have the strength, structure and physical condition of the Mineral Kingdom. Our life force and sense of vitality is a gift from the Plant Kingdom, who also share with us the gift of adaptation, nourishment and beauty. We share skills of social interactions, behaviour, instincts and feelings with the Animal Kingdom – all of these blessings combine and have allowed us to develop something that makes us different.
The Human Kingdom contains the power of creative knowledge and the ability to transform ourselves and our world around us. As Amber Greene described it, “we are CALLED to use this gift!” It is the eternal wrestle of mankind to be something more than we are, and those with hearts that are called to beauty, truth and goodness in the world will find out how best to use their creative intelligence.
The Advent tells the story of the birth of the Christ Child, who was recognised as one who would grow to be a great teacher and leader – a king among men who had access to divine wisdom that he would share with the world. Putting ‘religion’ aside, I still see this story as one that is important and very accessible to us all. Whether or not you believe in Heaven or God or Jesus, in the Advent Story that has been unfolding over these last few weeks we have everything in place for us to birth ourselves anew, and with consciousness. To me this is a story that perfectly describes the potential within each of us to be great and to use our creative potential in the world in wonderful ways, no matter how ‘humble’ we feel our talents are.
Mary, in her pregnancy, carries the idea and the potential for something wonderful, and looks for the blessings in life even when life was not be making it easy for her. She represents the power of birth and creative transformation – a divine gift given to her by the Holy Spirit. Joseph is an old man who has lived a long, hard-working life. He realises this child Mary bears comes from something ‘beyond’ him. I know that feeling – of not really being my children’s mother. I look at my children in utter wonder at where these spirits came from, and feel humble and proud that they chose me to be one of their parents. In this relationship Mary has connection with Heaven, wonder, beauty, spirit, positivity, gratitude, creative power, while Joseph has connection with the Earth, goodness, values, wisdom, work, perseverance and loyalty and together with their love they share their gifts with another human being – this Christ Child who stands with one foot on the Earth and the other in Heaven.
I think the Advent Story tells us that WE are the Christ Child. We have the potential to grow into something beyond ourselves because at the moment of our births we are given the gifts of Mary and Joseph, and the blessings of the Mineral, Plant and Animal Kingdoms. We are human, and we have faults but through divine gifts we have the potential – ALWAYS – to look for something better, brighter and more beautiful in ourselves.
THE BLESSINGS OF THE KINGDOM OF HUMANS
Written by Jennifer McCormack
Old man Joseph, Mary and Donkey have travelled far together,
Through all kinds of landscapes and through all kinds of weather.
And yet no matter how rough their ride, they went with gratitude,
For they knew that journeys are easier with a positive attitude.
They were closer now than ever before, to their destination,
And when they reached Bethlehem there would be a celebration.
For Mary carried the Holy Child who soon would be birthed,
and this Babe was destined to be a great Teacher on this Earth.
They’d been travelling through villages, lots of little towns.
It was lovely to see some other people about and all around.
When they finally arrived, their lengthy journey at an end,
They were surprised to see how busy was the town of Bethlehem!
Travellers like them had taken rooms at all the available places.
People turned them away from their doors with the saddest faces,
“I’m sorry we have no room for you, but you could try next door,
Perhaps they’d have a place for you to sleep upon the floor?”
A child had been watching poor Joseph and Mary growing in distress,
They were weary, hungry, so very tired and having no success.
He said “I know a little place, it really isn’t the best.
But it’s warm and dry and it would be a place for you to rest.”
He took them to his father’s inn and asked if they were able
to rest a while with their donkey in a corner of the stable.
The innkeeper looked at them with kindness on his face
and said, “Of course, my rooms are full, and it is the only place.
It’s clean and dry and very warm, you’ll rest well with my cows.”
He brought them blankets, food and water and left them with a bow.
And that night Mary birthed her Babe, in that quiet shed
With Joseph at her feet and the Donkey by her head.
They were all spellbound by the beauty of this tiny Holy Child
Mary slept a healing sleep and when she woke she smiled.
“This Babe was born upon the ground, and a great teacher he will be,
I shall teach him all I can, and then he shall teach me.
I am grateful for friends and families and for places filled love,
and for this special little Babe I thank the Holy Spirit above.
I give thanks to the kindness of others, when they see a need
who can see that inside another lies potential, like a seed.
We all have the ability to grow and learn, to open up our hearts,
and try to be and do the best we can, its the greatest way to start.
For every parent anywhere knows the awesome power of birth
That love and trust and honest work will transform this Earth.”