Thursday, December 24, 2020
Reflecting on the Nativity
There is a lot of talk at Christmas of love, peace and good will, but you sure don't see it in the parking lot at the mall. All the anger, all the yelling and fighting, that is not the spirit of Christmas. That is the spirit of something else. That's why I become recluse this time of year to separate myself from the madness of Christmas as I seek the peace Christmas was meant to bring.
Today I want to talk about three separate journeys to Bethlehem: Mary and Joseph's, the wise men's and my own. My journey actually took me to Jerusalem not Bethlehem. I had no idea at the time how close Bethlehem was to Jerusalem. Bethlehem is a suburb of Jerusalem like Surrey is to Vancouver although Surrey is its own city. To say that Jesus was born at Jerusalem means he was born near there. Christ's journey basically began and ended at the same place.
Mary and Joseph began their journey to Bethlehem because all the Roman world was to be taxed. Emperor Augustus decreed that a census be taken and everyone had to register for the census at their ancestral place of birth. Mary and Joseph were both of the house of David so they were required to register for the census at Bethlehem. The Roman world at the time extended from Israel all the way to England. Ireland and Scotland had not been conquered.
The wise men or the three kings saw a star in the east and made their own journey to follow that star. Many others saw the star and thought nothing of it. Many think the three kings came from the east but if they saw the star in the eastern sky that means they came from the west. The fact that they came on the ships of Tarshis confirms that theory. Tarshis was another name for Spain. If they came from the east, they would not have been able to sail on ships to get there.
I believe that the wise men, or the three kings as they were also know actually consisted of four, the king of England, the king of Spain, the king of Scotland and the king of Ireland. The ancient pedigrees claim that the queen of England is a descendant of David through the house of Stewart who descend from Zerah Juda twin brother of Pharez.
The bible claims Jerimiah left Jerusalem and went to Egypt with two of the daughters of king Zedekiah after the Babylonian captivity where they killed Zedekiah's sons and poked the king's eyes out. The legend claims Jerimiah then sailed on the ships of Tarshis to Spain and Ireland. One of the daughters married into the Spanish royalty while the other married into the Irish royalty of whom the Stewarts descend. Hence the prophecy, the sceptre shall not depart from Judah.
So, if the Roman Empire extended all the way to England at the time of Christ, then the king of England and the king of Spain would of also had to go to Bethlehem to register for the census since they were both of the house of David. I believe the king of Scotland and the king of Ireland came along for the ride. I have reason to believe that the king of Ireland at the time was Crimthann Nia Náir. So the three wise men were indeed three kings. Maybe four.
My Journey to Jerusalem
My Journey to Jerusalem started in the bowels of New York City. Then to London, England and on to Egypt. I had always wanted to climb the pyramids and visit the Holy Land. It was my own personal pilgrimage so to speak. I wanted to find Christ.
I was fascinated with the antiquity of the old city of Jerusalem and how close everything was. The Mount of Olives, Golgotha, the garden tomb and the Garden of Gethsemane were all just outside the old city walls. I'll never forget being on a tour and visiting one of the spots they thought Christ was crucified. Everyone in the tour was awestruck looking down at the spot on the ground where they thought Christ died. It felt surreal.
It was like the Zen parable of the man pointing to the moon. I couldn't help but feel Christ's presence at the back of the room saying don't you remember the part where I rose from the dead? It was at that moment that I finally realized I didn't have to travel all that way to find Christ.
I first found Christ so to speak when I was 13 years old after my mother gave me that book More than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell. In that book one chapter struck me. It was entitled Lord, Liar or Lunatic. I found the logic indisputable. He said that Christ was either the Lord, a liar or a lunatic. He then went on to question would Christ die for a lie? In the trial all the witnesses contradicted each other. They had nothing on him until they asked art thou the Christ? All he had to do was say nope. Not me. You got the wrong guy and walk away. Yet he didn't. He basically said yes I am. He was convicted by his own testimony.
So Josh McDowell asked, would a liar die for a lie? Not unless he was crazy. Yet if he was crazy how did he fulfill biblical prophecies? How did he convince 12 men to die for their testimony that they saw the resurrected Christ? My testimony is that of Peter. Jesus is the Christ. That is what I believe with all my heart. Yet that doesn't mean I like all Christians. In fact, I can't stand most.
I loathe hypocrisy. Yet Christ said "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." God is not a respecter of persons.
What we do is more important than what we say we believe. To thine own self be true. Peace.