Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Presence

This is a picture I took in Israel of where I thought Jesus migh t have sat when he taught the Beatitudes: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."(Mathew 5) Tonight I saw Pacific Theatre's "Christmas Presence". Ron Reed and the original company that performed it 25 years ago had gathered together to do one more performance of this strangely moving enigmatic questioning of the Christmas story. Immanual. God within.
It reminded me of the miracles that I experienced when on pilgrimage to Bethlehem I crossed the blood streaked streets in the sights of sniper rifles. The way was harsh but the journey was worth it. I stood with dozens from other lands and sang a Christmas carol in as many different languages. I was moved to tears then as I had been over and over again in what seems rightly called the Holy Land.
Reading the Beatitudes again tonight I see once more why these teachings caused those dependent on external finite earthly power to resist the notion of internal infinite heavenly power. Yet Love conquers all.
Earlier this week I saw the epic movie, Australia, with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackson. I cherished the idealism and sense of the sacred that filled this movie as much as the extraordinary scenery and panoramic views of a country of ancient song.
I found Sarah McLaughlin's Wintersong album and played it all day in the truck along with the Sheree Plett Christmas album I got this year. I was shopping for family. Thank God for sweaters. And especially thank god for all those articles of clothing and accessory where one size fits all.
It's not Frankincense, Gold or Myrr I found but the Bible said there was gift giving that first day. I'm not not so bothered by the commercialism as the forgetting of the message of forgiveness. Love your enemies, Jesus said. In the Triune Brain of McLean, the lizard, mammalian and human anatomical constructs develop sequentially into that which is truly human. Lizards don't love but mammals can love their family and perhaps their 'tribe'. To be truly human as Jesus was, he said Love God and Love your neighbour as yourself. It stands to reason that if your enemy wasn't your neighbour he wouldn't be your enemy.
It's Christmas. It's a time of Love. The winter solstice was no doubt taken over by the church from the earlier tribal traditions. The secret part of WWII I most enjoyed learning of was that men all along the firing lines refused to kill each other in the thousands or more at Christmas. Instead they crossed the lines and shared their meager rations.
I'm hoping that this is happening right now. Peace on earth. Good will to men! Merry Christmas.


detourcy said...

According to reports in several respected scientific journals, including the Lancet, British Medical
Journal, and Environmental Health Perspectives, sperm counts have been declining at the rate of two
percent per year since the 1970s, and sperm quality has also suffered. “The most probable cause is a
combined assault by the environmental estrogens in pesticides and plastics along with the plant
estrogens from soy,” says Dr. Daniel. “I hope this study will put the spotlight on soy's contribution to
the estrogenization of our men.”
Many independent scientists and doctors share Dr. Daniel's concerns. In July 2005, the Israeli Health
Ministry warned adult men to “exercise caution” regarding soy consumption because of adverse effects
on fertility. The Ministry issued an even stronger warning against soy for babies and children, saying
that infants should not be given soy formula except as a last resort and that children up to age 18 should
not eat soy more than once per day to a maximum of three times per week. “The Ministry was
primarily concerned about the negative effects that soy estrogens could have on the children's
developing brains and reproductive systems,” says Dr. Daniel.

haykind said...

I asked a woman I knew if she'd heard about the world wide declining sperm counts. "Is that because of the tight underwear," she asked. Now there's a comparison Scots versus Brits just waiting to be done.

detourcy said...

Not just soybeans.


detourcy said...

BTW, Walt Whitman had 3 personas, whilst Pessoa had 72. I salute your ONE.

detourcy said...


"WHEN I read the book, the biography famous,
And is this, then, (said I,) what the author calls a man’s life?
And so will some one, when I am dead and gone, write my life?
(As if any man really knew aught of my life;
Why, even I myself, I often think, know little or nothing of my real life;
Only a few hints—a few diffused, faint clues and indirections,
I seek, for my own use, to trace out here.)"