Despite my uncouth performance at Yule (which few people seemed to notice except for my Priest), the message of the Child of Promise stayed with me through Christmas this year and at Church with my family on Wednesday night, I found myself truly celebrating, for the first time, not just the birth of Jesus, but the birth of renewal, of new life, told through an ancient myth of the Holy woman giving birth to a divine child—a story that dates all the way back to Ancient Egypt when Isis gave birth to Horus.
My extended family attends an Evangelical Baptist service on Christmas Eve, even though they’ve all scattered to different churches for their weekly attendance. This is the kind of service that jumps under the skin of your common Pagan—the Southern accent ringing in the rhyme, “Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? Have you been born again?” It’s the kind of place that stereotypically prays for homosexuals to denounce their natural born tendencies, for women who have had abortions to seek forgiveness for making an excruciating decision, for George Bush to get sainthood…whatever. Now I probably sound like I’m preaching on the other side of the pulpit and maybe I am. But it’s churches such as these that seem to keep Pagan safely tucked into their altars, and causing our number to grow. Perhaps I’m being too judgmental. None of these topics were touched at the Christmas service—just the question of if Jesus had become our personal saviors. Well, my personal answer was no. But when asked if I’d been born again, I could honestly say, yes. Except it was to Brid and Pan, Goddess of Fire and Creation and God of Fertility and Gateways. That experience is another story. But yes, I was “saved” the way Baptists were saved by Jesus. I knew Jesus as a child. He bid me farewell with a blessing when I told Him I was leaving to pursue Wicca.
Therefore, tt was good to spend an evening with Him and celebrate His birthday.
The preacher said, “When the body and blood passes you by, you can take of it if you have honestly embraced Jesus and have been born again.” I could feel a couple of my “knowing” family members eyeing me as I did indeed take of His body and blood—and didn’t start simmering. It doesn’t make sense for a Witch to shun Jesus. He doesn’t hate us. He never did anything to us. His followers have done a lot of bullshit over the years, but why spurn Jesus, who has been nice to me as long as I can remember, and was certainly the first God I was exposed to? Maybe I looked to be a hypocrite. But I didn’t care.
When it came time to pray, I said this prayer along with another prayer that I wouldn’t start crying, lest my relatives think I’d gone and repented and was coming back to Christianity: “Jesus, it’s been awhile since we’ve talked. But I do good work that I know you would approve of. I’ve consulted every other Diety that I’ve come across and I could really use some help with something. (insert something here—not going to tell you because it’s between me and J.C.) If You could do this for me, I can’t say I’m going to be like every other person who asks You for something and swears to follow You completely. I’ve taken vows to another path, as You know, but if You help me with this, it will not only benefit You but will benefit another who works intimately with Your Church. Helping me, us, with this will ultimately strengthen the path that I’m on which while it isn’t Your Church, is of a nature of which You would approve—carrying Your message in a different form. I was a good Catholic, as You recall. Please remember that when going through Your prayer lists this Christmas Eve.
Many thanks. Amen.”
He heard me. I know He did.