Monday, December 10, 2012



We're now well into the season of Advent, just a few weeks before Christmas. Not my favourite time of year. Don't get me wrong. I'm a believer. Not that I believe church doctrine that has been handed down from the Middle Ages, or even from the churches, but I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. But this isn't a rant against the commercialization of this season. We all know and agree about that. What I want to share is my sadness at how the churches are allowing the whole thing to be watered down, so to speak. What we know as 'the Christmas stories' are portrayed as nice and cuddly stories for children, or palmed off as history, instead of being stories that challenge and lead us today, serious warnings for us and all people.
Let me give you an example. The story of the three wise men. This was written in the gospel we call Matthew for a reason, to inform and prepare all who would read the gospel itself. Let's review the story. It's about three astrologers, not men of belief at all, but from a culture foreign to the Jews and to the idea of God. But they know there is something important about to happen, something that will change everything. They see a sign of it, in the form of a star, and leave all behind in order to follow, to search for this most important event/truth. They go to all the right places, the acknowledged keepers of wisdom, political and spiritual. No success. The answers are not there. Undeterred, they keep looking, until they find their answer in the most unlikely of places, among the poor and weary.
Most churches end the story right there, for to go farther leads us to understand that if we take the story to heart and mind, we will see that to really seek rebirth and truth today, the seekers will have to go outside of the churches today as much as the story told those way back then. As Christians have always claimed to be the keepers of the truth, so too, they have kept people away from the truth, even in the condemnation to hell of those who had the temerity to question or disagree. No, we won't hear this story being fleshed out in pulpits this Christmas.
Yet again, here we are, in a season dedicated, supposedly, to searching and preparation. No matter your understanding, traditional Christian, unbelief, searcher, Muslim, Jew, etc, let us unite in the truth that real knowledge and growth very seldom come from following the usual and currently established way. Let us each and all find the wisdom to not be put off by the established powers, political or religious, for they all have their axes to grind and are blinded by their traditions and habits. Not that they are evil or bad. They just can't see anything new. Let us keep searching. We'll know what the real thing is when we find it. And it will be worth the search and the journey. Keep at it!

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