"She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger." - Luke 2:7
Occasionally, I'm asked if I believe in reincarnation. I don't get this question very often because reincarnation is typically viewed as a Hindu or New Age thing. More often, Christian ministers are asked if we work more than one day a week.
But when I am asked if I believe in reincarnation my answer is an unequivocal "Yes!" In a certain respect, reincarnation is what Christmas is all about. Above and beyond all that is meaningful and beautiful in our Christmas traditions, today is about the Spirit taking on flesh (in-carne) in Jesus and being born in each of us (re-in-carne).
This, I believe, is the true meaning of "born again." We are not born again. It is Christ who is born again, and again and again (re-incarnated) in the poor, cold, messy, crowded, unlikely manger of our heart. "What good is it," a 13th century Christian mystic once asked, "if Jesus was born of a virgin, if God is not born in me?"
In other words, we are all Mary. We are all mothers of God, giving birth to God because God is always needing to be born. The incarnation and re-incarnation of God is what Christmas is all about. It's about what God did in Jesus. It's about what God wants to do in you and through you.
Lord, I open myself to you today. Be born again in me.
Matt Laney is the Senior Pastor of Virginia Highland Church UCC in Atlanta, GA and the author of Pride Wars, a fantasy series publishe by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers. The first book, The Spinner Prince available now.