In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him, and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being 4 in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
The best gift of this season could be the reminder that God has intended to give the world a gift through the uniqueness of your personality. The world is robbed of something precious and unique if you don't give your
gift. Meister Eckhardt said, "Become aware of what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it, and give birth to it."
And from a Michael Carden email: see his book too!
"About the divine stooping: I have been reading a book on five holy women of 19th century Russia — they were mystics and ascetics who pioneered new ways of women's religious life in orthodoxy — some are now regarded as saints. But central to orthodox teaching is kenosis or emptying out. In Jesus is seen the divine kenosis, the divine emptying into a human life (kabbalism has a concept of divine emptying as part of the process of creation). For orthodoxy the incarnation is part of a process of divinisation in which the whole universe (including slime moulds) becomes god.
I think the metaphor that is christianity is one of divine emptying into creation by which creation becomes divine. The way to divinisation also involves a sort of human emptying, kenosis, to allow the divine to enter. The mystery of the incarnation is not that it was a one off event but that it serves as an invitation to each and all of us to recognise that we are all god with a human face. The incarnation is happening all the time if we only bothered to notice it (and there are way too many occasions when we all forget or get sidetracked). So with the virgin birth maybe we have to become virgins, be born again so as to give birth to the divine in our souls."
and just a bit more:
Karen Armstrong has a powerful article in The Guardian at https://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1672201,00.html
Christmas: A subversive story of self-sacrifice and deprivation