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Christmas 2019

 

 

Jesus came here –  to reveal the Father … and not just for us, but for the people of some 6,000 other worlds in Nebadon (and eventually, I guess, the full 10,000 worlds of his creation, which by and by will be “inhabited”.  A world is not counted as ‘inhabited’ until such time as there are God-knowing people living there … that is – ‘adjuster-indwelt’.)

 

[Sometime you should read the ‘adjuster papers’ in the Urantia Book – (papers 107-111).  Everyone should.]

 

Anyway, there was a certain incident (which you may not know about) – involving Jesus and the young John Mark (who years later wrote the Gospel of Mark)

Just two days before the (well-known) Last Supper, Jesus had decided to take himself off into the hills alone to prepare himself for the (tremendous) ordeal which he knew awaited him. 

[Incidentally, Jesus had been informed 8 months earlier (on the Mount of the Transfiguration) –  that the requirements for his final bestowal had been met; and he could have elected to end his bestowal THEN.  But he chose not to do this.   If you wish to read about this transaction (on your own) … it’s here :

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book-standardized/paper-158-mount-transfiguration?term=%22158%22#U158_0_0      ]

 

Anyway, despite Jesus’ plan to go alone into the hills … John Mark gets Jesus to take him along!

 

THAT’S the way God is!       [Wonderful!      Amazing! ]

 

Have a look –

 

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book-standardized/paper-177-wednesday-rest-day?term=%22177%22#U177_0_0  :

The Urantia Book

Paper 177

Wednesday, the Rest Day

177:0.1 (1920.1) WHEN the work of teaching the people did not press them, it was the custom of Jesus and his apostles to rest from their labors each Wednesday. On this particular Wednesday they ate breakfast somewhat later than usual, and the camp was pervaded by an ominous silence; little was said during the first half of this morning meal. At last Jesus spoke: “I desire that you rest today. Take time to think over all that has happened since we came to Jerusalem and meditate on what is just ahead, of which I have plainly told you. Make sure that the truth abides in your lives, and that you daily grow in grace.”

177:0.2 (1920.2) After breakfast the Master informed Andrew that he intended to be absent for the day and suggested that the apostles be permitted to spend the time in accordance with their own choosing, except that under no circumstances should they go within the gates of Jerusalem.

177:0.3 (1920.3) When Jesus made ready to go into the hills alone, David Zebedee accosted him, saying: “You well know, Master, that the Pharisees and rulers seek to destroy you, and yet you make ready to go alone into the hills. To do this is folly; I will therefore send three men with you well prepared to see that no harm befalls you.” Jesus looked over the three well-armed and stalwart Galileans and said to David: “You mean well, but you err in that you fail to understand that the Son of Man needs no one to defend him. No man will lay hands on me until that hour when I am ready to lay down my life in conformity to my Father’s will. These men may not accompany me. I desire to go alone, that I may commune with the Father.”

177:0.4 (1920.4) Upon hearing these words, David and his armed guards withdrew; but as Jesus started off alone, John Mark came forward with a small basket containing food and water and suggested that, if he intended to be away all day, he might find himself hungry. The Master smiled on John and reached down to take the basket.

1. One Day Alone with God

177:1.1 (1920.5) As Jesus was about to take the lunch basket from John’s hand, the young man ventured to say: “But, Master, you may set the basket down while you turn aside to pray and go on without it. Besides, if I should go along to carry the lunch, you would be more free to worship, and I will surely be silent. I will ask no questions and will stay by the basket when you go apart by yourself to pray.”

177:1.2 (1920.6) While making this speech, the temerity of which astonished some of the near-by listeners, John had made bold to hold on to the basket. There they stood, both John and Jesus holding the basket. Presently the Master let go and, looking down on the lad, said: “Since with all your heart you crave to go with me, it shall not be denied you. We will go off by ourselves and have a good visit. You may ask me any question that arises in your heart, and we will comfort and console each other. You may start out carrying the lunch, and when you grow weary, I will help you. Follow on with me.”

177:1.3 (1921.1) Jesus did not return to the camp that evening until after sunset. The Master spent this last day of quiet on earth visiting with this truth-hungry youth and talking with his Paradise Father. This event has become known on high as “the day which a young man spent with God in the hills.” Forever this occasion exemplifies the willingness of the Creator to fellowship the creature. Even a youth, if the desire of the heart is really supreme, can command the attention and enjoy the loving companionship of the God of a universe, actually experience the unforgettable ecstasy of being alone with God in the hills, and for a whole day. And such was the unique experience of John Mark on this Wednesday in the hills of Judea.

177:1.4 (1921.2) Jesus visited much with John, talking freely about the affairs of this world and the next. John told Jesus how much he regretted that he had not been old enough to be one of the apostles and expressed his great appreciation that he had been permitted to follow on with them since their first preaching at the Jordan ford near Jericho, except for the trip to Phoenicia. Jesus warned the lad not to become discouraged by impending events and assured him he would live to become a mighty messenger of the kingdom.

177:1.5 (1921.3) John Mark was thrilled by the memory of this day with Jesus in the hills, but he never forgot the Master’s final admonition, spoken just as they were about to return to the Gethsemane camp, when he said: “Well, John, we have had a good visit, a real day of rest, but see to it that you tell no man the things which I told you.” And John Mark never did reveal anything that transpired on this day which he spent with Jesus in the hills.

177:1.6 (1921.4) Throughout the few remaining hours of Jesus’ earth life John Mark never permitted the Master for long to get out of his sight. Always was the lad in hiding near by; he slept only when Jesus slept.

2. Early Home Life

177:2.1 (1921.5) In the course of this day’s visiting with John Mark, Jesus spent considerable time comparing their early childhood and later boyhood experiences. Although John’s parents possessed more of this world’s goods than had Jesus’ parents, there was much experience in their boyhood which was very similar. Jesus said many things which helped John better to understand his parents and other members of his family. When the lad asked the Master how he could know that he would turn out to be a “mighty messenger of the kingdom,” Jesus said:

177:2.2 (1921.6) “I know you will prove loyal to the gospel of the kingdom because I can depend upon your present faith and love when these qualities are grounded upon such an early training as has been your portion at home. You are the product of a home where the parents bear each other a sincere affection, and therefore you have not been overloved so as injuriously to exalt your concept of self-importance. Neither has your personality suffered distortion in consequence of your parents’ loveless maneuvering for your confidence and loyalty, the one against the other. You have enjoyed that parental love which insures laudable self-confidence and which fosters normal feelings of security. But you have also been fortunate in that your parents possessed wisdom as well as love; and it was wisdom which led them to withhold most forms of indulgence and many luxuries which wealth can buy while they sent you to the synagogue school along with your neighborhood playfellows, and they also encouraged you to learn how to live in this world by permitting you to have original experience. You came over to the Jordan, where we preached and John’s disciples baptized, with your young friend Amos. Both of you desired to go with us. When you returned to Jerusalem, your parents consented; Amos’s parents refused; they loved their son so much that they denied him the blessed experience which you have had, even such as you this day enjoy. By running away from home, Amos could have joined us, but in so doing he would have wounded love and sacrificed loyalty. Even if such a course had been wise, it would have been a terrible price to pay for experience, independence, and liberty. Wise parents, such as yours, see to it that their children do not have to wound love or stifle loyalty in order to develop independence and enjoy invigorating liberty when they have grown up to your age.

177:2.3 (1922.1) “Love, John, is the supreme reality of the universe when bestowed by all-wise beings, but it is a dangerous and oftentimes semiselfish trait as it is manifested in the experience of mortal parents. When you get married and have children of your own to rear, make sure that your love is admonished by wisdom and guided by intelligence.

177:2.4 (1922.2) “Your young friend Amos believes this gospel of the kingdom just as much as you, but I cannot fully depend upon him; I am not certain about what he will do in the years to come. His early home life was not such as would produce a wholly dependable person. Amos is too much like one of the apostles who failed to enjoy a normal, loving, and wise home training. Your whole afterlife will be more happy and dependable because you spent your first eight years in a normal and well-regulated home. You possess a strong and well-knit character because you grew up in a home where love prevailed and wisdom reigned. Such a childhood training produces a type of loyalty which assures me that you will go through with the course you have begun.”

177:2.5 (1922.3) For more than an hour Jesus and John continued this discussion of home life. The Master went on to explain to John how a child is wholly dependent on his parents and the associated home life for all his early concepts of everything intellectual, social, moral, and even spiritual since the family represents to the young child all that he can first know of either human or divine relationships. The child must derive his first impressions of the universe from the mother’s care; he is wholly dependent on the earthly father for his first ideas of the heavenly Father. The child’s subsequent life is made happy or unhappy, easy or difficult, in accordance with his early mental and emotional life, conditioned by these social and spiritual relationships of the home. A human being’s entire afterlife is enormously influenced by what happens during the first few years of existence.

177:2.6 (1922.4) It is our sincere belief that the gospel of Jesus’ teaching, founded as it is on the father-child relationship, can hardly enjoy a world-wide acceptance until such a time as the home life of the modern civilized peoples embraces more of love and more of wisdom. Notwithstanding that parents of the twentieth century possess great knowledge and increased truth for improving the home and ennobling the home life, it remains a fact that very few modern homes are such good places in which to nurture boys and girls as Jesus’ home in Galilee and John Mark’s home in Judea, albeit the acceptance of Jesus’ gospel will result in the immediate improvement of home life. The love life of a wise home and the loyal devotion of true religion exert a profound reciprocal influence upon each other. Such a home life enhances religion, and genuine religion always glorifies the home.

177:2.7 (1923.1) It is true that many of the objectionable stunting influences and other cramping features of these olden Jewish homes have been virtually eliminated from many of the better-regulated modern homes. There is, indeed, more spontaneous freedom and far more personal liberty, but this liberty is not restrained by love, motivated by loyalty, nor directed by the intelligent discipline of wisdom. As long as we teach the child to pray, “Our Father who is in heaven,” a tremendous responsibility rests upon all earthly fathers so to live and order their homes that the word father becomes worthily enshrined in the minds and hearts of all growing children.

~~~~~~~~

 

Let us NOT get tangled up in details.

I expect it’s true – that our reckoning (as to when Jesus came here) is flawed.  Jesus was born (in Bethlehem) in the summer … not in December. In fact by our calendar, he was born in August of 7 BC !

But these are details.   Mmm?

Keep in mind (as you make decisions as to what to do … on this Christmas Day (or on any other, subsequent day) – that there are certain ‘events’ for which (as Joseph Campbell points out) – it does NOT MATTER WHETHER OR NOT IT HAPPENED.  What matters is – that it’s ALWAYS HAPPENING.

So

It is in THIS light that I wish to suggest – that it is our task … to tend to ourselves … to prepare ourselves to receive the Christ.   —

 

 

 

Balulalow           

                                                                                     

O my deare hert, young Jesu sweit,                                (Oh my dear heart, young Jesus sweet)

Prepare thy creddil in my spreit,                                                 (Prepare your cradle in my spirit)

And I sall rock thee to my hert,                                                  (And I shall rock you to my heart)

And never mair from thee depart.                                               (And nevermore from you depart)

 

But I sall praise thee evermoir                                                        (But I shall praise you forever)

With sanges sweit unto thy gloir;                                                  (With sweet songs of your glory)

The knees of my heart sall I bow,                                            (The knees of my heart I shall bend)

And sing that richt Balulalow!                                                                 (And sing that right lullaby)

 

[Here’s the music]

                                     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBdVJ46Cj_0

 

[This, by the way, is one of the songs from “A Ceremony of Carols”  by Benjamin Britten]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

And here is an excerpt –  from Paper 100 (of the Urantia Book)

 

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book-standardized/paper-100-religion-in-human-experience?term=%22acme%20of%20religious%20living%22#U100_7_0    :

7. The Acme of Religious Living

100:7.1 (1101.5) Although the average mortal of Urantia cannot hope to attain the high perfection of character which Jesus of Nazareth acquired while sojourning in the flesh, it is altogether possible for every mortal believer to develop a strong and unified personality along the perfected lines of the Jesus personality. The unique feature of the Master’s personality was not so much its perfection as its symmetry, its exquisite and balanced unification. The most effective presentation of Jesus consists in following the example of the one who said, as he gestured toward the Master standing before his accusers, “Behold the man!”

100:7.2 (1101.6) The unfailing kindness of Jesus touched the hearts of men, but his stalwart strength of character amazed his followers. He was truly sincere; there was nothing of the hypocrite in him. He was free from affectation; he was always so refreshingly genuine. He never stooped to pretense, and he never resorted to shamming. He lived the truth, even as he taught it. He was the truth. He was constrained to proclaim saving truth to his generation, even though such sincerity sometimes caused pain. He was unquestioningly loyal to all truth.

100:7.3 (1101.7) But the Master was so reasonable, so approachable. He was so practical in all his ministry, while all his plans were characterized by such sanctified common sense. He was so free from all freakish, erratic, and eccentric tendencies. He was never capricious, whimsical, or hysterical. In all his teaching and in everything he did there was always an exquisite discrimination associated with an extraordinary sense of propriety.

100:7.4 (1102.1) The Son of Man was always a well-poised personality. Even his enemies maintained a wholesome respect for him; they even feared his presence. Jesus was unafraid. He was surcharged with divine enthusiasm, but he never became fanatical. He was emotionally active but never flighty. He was imaginative but always practical. He frankly faced the realities of life, but he was never dull or prosaic. He was courageous but never reckless; prudent but never cowardly. He was sympathetic but not sentimental; unique but not eccentric. He was pious but not sanctimonious. And he was so well-poised because he was so perfectly unified.

100:7.5 (1102.2) Jesus’ originality was unstifled. He was not bound by tradition or handicapped by enslavement to narrow conventionality. He spoke with undoubted confidence and taught with absolute authority. But his superb originality did not cause him to overlook the gems of truth in the teachings of his predecessors and contemporaries. And the most original of his teachings was the emphasis of love and mercy in the place of fear and sacrifice.

100:7.6 (1102.3) Jesus was very broad in his outlook. He exhorted his followers to preach the gospel to all peoples. He was free from all narrow-mindedness. His sympathetic heart embraced all mankind, even a universe. Always his invitation was, “Whosoever will, let him come.”

100:7.7 (1102.4) Of Jesus it was truly said, “He trusted God.” As a man among men he most sublimely trusted the Father in heaven. He trusted his Father as a little child trusts his earthly parent. His faith was perfect but never presumptuous. No matter how cruel nature might appear to be or how indifferent to man’s welfare on earth, Jesus never faltered in his faith. He was immune to disappointment and impervious to persecution. He was untouched by apparent failure.

100:7.8 (1102.5) He loved men as brothers, at the same time recognizing how they differed in innate endowments and acquired qualities. “He went about doing good.”

100:7.9 (1102.6) Jesus was an unusually cheerful person, but he was not a blind and unreasoning optimist. His constant word of exhortation was, “Be of good cheer.” He could maintain this confident attitude because of his unswerving trust in God and his unshakable confidence in man. He was always touchingly considerate of all men because he loved them and believed in them. Still he was always true to his convictions and magnificently firm in his devotion to the doing of his Father’s will.

100:7.10 (1102.7) The Master was always generous. He never grew weary of saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Said he, “Freely you have received, freely give.” And yet, with all of his unbounded generosity, he was never wasteful or extravagant. He taught that you must believe to receive salvation. “For every one who seeks shall receive.”

100:7.11 (1102.8) He was candid, but always kind. Said he, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” He was frank, but always friendly. He was outspoken in his love for the sinner and in his hatred for sin. But throughout all this amazing frankness he was unerringly fair.

100:7.12 (1102.9) Jesus was consistently cheerful, notwithstanding he sometimes drank deeply of the cup of human sorrow. He fearlessly faced the realities of existence, yet was he filled with enthusiasm for the gospel of the kingdom. But he controlled his enthusiasm; it never controlled him. He was unreservedly dedicated to “the Father’s business.” This divine enthusiasm led his unspiritual brethren to think he was beside himself, but the onlooking universe appraised him as the model of sanity and the pattern of supreme mortal devotion to the high standards of spiritual living. And his controlled enthusiasm was contagious; his associates were constrained to share his divine optimism.

100:7.13 (1103.1) This man of Galilee was not a man of sorrows; he was a soul of gladness. Always was he saying, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.” But when duty required, he was willing to walk courageously through the “valley of the shadow of death.” He was gladsome but at the same time humble.

100:7.14 (1103.2) His courage was equaled only by his patience. When pressed to act prematurely, he would only reply, “My hour has not yet come.” He was never in a hurry; his composure was sublime. But he was often indignant at evil, intolerant of sin. He was often mightily moved to resist that which was inimical to the welfare of his children on earth. But his indignation against sin never led to anger at the sinner.

100:7.15 (1103.3) His courage was magnificent, but he was never foolhardy. His watchword was, “Fear not.” His bravery was lofty and his courage often heroic. But his courage was linked with discretion and controlled by reason. It was courage born of faith, not the recklessness of blind presumption. He was truly brave but never audacious.

100:7.16 (1103.4) The Master was a pattern of reverence. The prayer of even his youth began, “Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.” He was even respectful of the faulty worship of his fellows. But this did not deter him from making attacks on religious traditions or assaulting errors of human belief. He was reverential of true holiness, and yet he could justly appeal to his fellows, saying, “Who among you convicts me of sin?”

100:7.17 (1103.5) Jesus was great because he was good, and yet he fraternized with the little children. He was gentle and unassuming in his personal life, and yet he was the perfected man of a universe. His associates called him Master unbidden.

100:7.18 (1103.6) Jesus was the perfectly unified human personality. And today, as in Galilee, he continues to unify mortal experience and to co-ordinate human endeavors. He unifies life, ennobles character, and simplifies experience. He enters the human mind to elevate, transform, and transfigure it. It is literally true: “If any man has Christ Jesus within him, he is a new creature; old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new.”

~~~~                [“Urantia” is what the celestials call this planet (which we call ‘Earth’) ]

 

I am told – that I (personally) knew Jesus (in the first century when he was here) … but that I failed to recognize him as a divine son.  I was (unfortunately) too full of myself … too taken with the greatness of my own intellect.

What a loss !

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some Children See Him

                                                                                  –      Wihla Hutson and Alfred Burt

Some children see Him lily white,

the baby Jesus born this night.

Some children see Him lily white,

with tresses soft and fair.

Some children see Him bronzed and brown,

The Lord of heav’n to earth come down.

Some children see Him bronzed and brown,

with dark and heavy hair.

Some children see Him almond-eyed,

this Savior whom we kneel beside.

some children see Him almond-eyed,

with skin of yellow hue.

Some children see Him dark as they,

sweet Mary’s Son to whom we pray.

Some children see him dark as they,

and, ah! they love Him, too! 

The children in each different place

will see the baby Jesus’ face

like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace,

and filled with holy light.

O lay aside each earthly thing

and with thy heart as offering,

come worship now the infant King.

‘Tis love that’s born tonight!

 

[Here’s the music  –

 

                                             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_3-haTEFrU

 

When I was a kid (in northwest Ohio) I had an older and a younger brother.  And every Christmas (from before I was born) our parents sent out (maybe a hundred) “Christmas cards”   … which were, each year – a photo of the family.

Dad knew a little photography, and would take these himself, develop the negative, put it in the enlarger, and expose the sheets of photographic paper.  Then (when we got old enough to help) we would develop these ourselves in trays in the dark room which Dad had put together in the corner of the basement … [red light, moving the photos from tray to tray … the smell of acetic acid]  Then these were mailed to friends & family. Black & whites, of course.

But Alfred Burt (who wrote the music to the above song) … would (as his ‘Christmas card’ each year) – write a Christmas carol … and (somehow) send it out to his friends.        How about THAT ?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We often say (or we hear it said) – that  “if only we could be as loving ALL YEAR … as we are at Christmas” …

But –  let’s NOT give up on that too glibly.

The FACT that we (the people of this Earth) are ABLE to function at (this) Higher Level of Consciousness   (if only for a couple days, at Christmas) … MEANS  – that we are CAPABLE  of it.

Mmm?

 

Intention is a powerful thing.

 

Rumi says –

 

                     Love is a bridge between you … and everything.

 

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