The Mercy King -13

This is the 13th entry of the series, God the Love Story Autumn about travelling the road to Christmas

The sudden disappearance of Moses was something of a relief to me. Being reminded of the importance of following the commands I admit is kind of boring and kind of troublesome. I suppose though that wherever Christianity has failed humanity, whether at the Church level or the personal level it is because the commands were neglected. Imagine how different the world would be if the Church had made and maintained peace instead of the Crusades? I feel sorry for God that His Will is not being done, even if, a million times a day, people say they want it to be. I guess people don’t take the commands seriously because God loves everyone so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our transgressions.

Did Jesus really die so we can be selfish and self-centered, argumentative, and dishonest without conscience because we will receive mercy? I really don’t know and I wish I did. All I know for sure is that I shan’t be judge and jury to anyone else on the planet, whether king or pauper, stranger or friend, Moslem or Jew. I must only judge myself and I will be a tough judge of me. I will judge myself harshly for the same reason I will run a mile, or do thirty push-ups when I don’t have to. I think if I am too easy on myself I won’t be ready or able, when the moment comes, if it comes in my lifetime, to go through the scary tribulation and to meet Jesus Christ in the air. Lamp oil.

Is it any wonder that so few people are on this road? So many bad aspiring immortals have darkened the path with hypocrisy that others can’t see the way at all or where it goes. The Church, to attract and retain enough people to pay their bills, hardly ever mentions how vital it is to obey the commands.

But I need mercy too. When I fall I am so glad to have a hand reach out to pick me up, even if I have to ask God to forgive me seventy times seven times a day, if I make myself change, He will forgive me and let me try again. If.

My next acquaintance is going to be no surprise. It can only be David, the mercy king, the forefather of the infant Christ. I wonder what he will look like, whether he will be Michelangelo’s David, young and beautiful, like perfect brand new Adam. Or maybe David will come to me when He is old and sorrowful. Either way I can’t wait to meet the one person in the whole wide world who can teach me about mercy. Yes, I want to meet David. We need to talk. 

The Truth About Mercy -14

This is the 14th entry in a series entitled God, the Love Story Autumn  

This journey of mine to Christmas began when the leaves were blazing reds and yellow, but it has been many weeks since I could comfortably call this the Love Story Autumn. The world around me now is quite white and quite cold. So much of the living has fallen into frozen hibernation. The best part is that snow has compacted onto and between the pebbles at my feet so the road that tortured me so on warms days is now smooth and quite flat. I can ignore the cold because of the fire that blazes in my heart to reach the infant Christ.

As much as I long to cradle the Son of God and the Son of Man in my arms, I long to understand mercy.  I am pretty sure that King David will soon appear and he will tell me all I want to know. If anyone understands mercy it must be David who was so awful but who wrote all of those exquisite psalms.  

It has been several days and nights since I have met soul or fairy. All of the hustling and bustling to decorate and bake and buy, wrap and send gifts and cards, sing songs and partake in parties has kept most mortals and aspiring immortals alike blinded to this path.

“We’ve been here!” chimed the littlest fairy that appeared in front of my eyes. “You have simply been too engaged in your own thoughts to see or hear us!”

“I don’t believe you! It’s impossible. I haven’t seen any of you fairies in weeks.” I said challenging the fairy to be completely honest with me.

Stopping the argument at its inception, she said, “I know someone who knows about mercy even more than David, you should learn from her.” And then the little fairy landed on a bare branch next to a bright red cardinal.

Astounded, I stopped dead in my tracks in front of the cardinal and fairy and asked, “Who can that be?”

The fairy leaped onto the back of the cardinal in shear merriment and together they circled me like a merry-go-round. “Stop that! I need to know about mercy!”

“It is our Mother, silly!  Who else?” the little fairy chirped.

“Well then where is she?”

“You can’t see our Mother, but you can obey her. She is the Bride of Christ. She is in your heart and in the halls of scholars and in cathedrals and chapels. Our Mother knows.”

Now you are being evasive. My time grows dangerously short. At this point I fear that I will never witness the birth and you are telling me to leave this path to seek our invisible Mother. Impossible!”

“I beg your pardon!” The littlest angel sounded genuinely angry with me. “Our Mother is not invisible by any means. She is concrete and wood and flesh, She is stained glass and volumes, She is blood and sweat and tears.” And calming down a notch she added, “Don’t worry, Annabelle here can tell you what She teaches on mercy.” Then my little fairy friend alighted from the cardinal as Annabelle appeared.

“We must keep moving, but listen carefully.” Annabelle said. “Everything that I say is true; don’t doubt a word, obey mercy and you will be closer to immortality than you have ever been before.”

“Mercy is both spiritual and corporal. Spiritual acts of mercy are (1) to admonish sinners because in fact you do not want them to suffer as a result and hope that others will admonish you when you veer from the path (2) to instruct the ignorant because the darkness of ignorance makes life so much more difficult and dangerous than it needs to be. Yes, instruct the ignorant and seek instruction. (3) counsel the doubtful. Doubt is quicksand, such mercy can save a soul from destruction. (4) comfort the sorrowful and watch mercy turn despair into humility and dust into gold. (5) suffer wrongs patiently, your pride will burn like candle wax to light the path to immortality. (6) forgive injuries that you may be forgiven. As you see pilgrim, mercy is so much more than forgiveness though. Finally, (7) pray for others, both living and dead who may not be able to beseech God to grant their wishes.”

Mercy sounded like more commands to me.  

Reading my mind Annabelle said, “Becoming immortal is active. No one is making you aspire to immortality.”

“Please continue. Of course I will do whatever is needed and I am happy to.”

Annabelle went on, “Corporal acts of mercy are more practical, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, ransom captives, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and bury the dead. The more you give, the wealthier you become. Do these things and you won’t have to go around seeking and begging for mercy; mercy will come to you. Got it?”

At this Annabelle smiled such a big glowing smile that I swear she grew.  Suddenly I looked up to see that I was approaching a regal figure.  

“King David, is that you?” and without another thought I fell at his feet.

“Yes, he said, extending his hand to lift me. I took his hand, kissed it in gratitude for the psalms and slowly arose. Once up I became mesmerized by David’s green eyes. He looked at me and said, “Let me join you in these last days. Together we will greet my Son and my Lord.”

The Path of Kings -15

This is the 15th entry in the series, God, the Love Story about walking the path through autumn to Christmas.

In silence King David and I walked side by side. I had many questions for him, but he seemed so determined to arrive at the manger in time that I supposed he didn’t want to waste a minute chatting. I was grateful just to be near him. By his gate and his being David revealed himself to me. Do you know what I mean? When you are near someone, how if you try, you can pick up their vibrations, vibrations of attitude and experiences that emanate from deep within. Well, maybe it helped to know David’s psalms. I had memorized as many as my brain or time would allow.

As dusk fell upon us stars appeared in the sky. It was beautiful! Hundreds and hundreds of stars forming all sorts of constellations. I tried to see if I could recognize any of them, even the big dipper which is the very easiest to find, when David grabbed my hand. “Please, there is no time to look at the stars, the path is coming to an end; look, here are my friends let us join them.”

Sure enough right in front of us was the end of my beloved road and three men wearing long colorful tunics and golden turbans. Before I could ask how we would find our way with no road, David pulled me over to meet the three kings! They looked just like they do in the story books. “Where have you been?” one king asked in an obviously irritable tone of voice.   

“I’m sorry, my little companion here had a lot to learn and it took time. Where is the star?”

The magi pointed to a large glowing star the likes of which I have never seen in my life and said, “Come quickly, let us continue our journey.”

By now I could not contain myself. I had to ask, “King David, how did these men know what the star would lead them to?”

He replied, “When they started their pilgrimage in Persia, you may know it as Iran, and the star first appeared, they were told that the star would take them to the king of the Jews so they followed it.”

Curious, I asked, “What could they benefit by seeing a king of another country so far away from theirs? Why would they want to worship a baby who could do nothing for them?”

David didn’t reply. The kings were walking so fast I had to jog from time to time just to keep up.

But walking fast didn’t keep me from thinking. These are strange men indeed.  They are Persian, barbarians; they have nothing in common with the Jews. What could a Jewish infant king do for them? Won’t they be surprised to see him in a manger and not in a castle? How long will they stay?

Then I remembered something and tugged at David’s belt after I caught up with him. “King David!” I said, “I don’t think we should be walking with these men. They are going to bring much danger to the infant Christ when they tell Herod that they are looking for a rival king! Let’s leave them now! I don’t want Mary and Joseph to hate me!”

King David was nice enough to answer me, “Relax my child. By now Mary has learned that danger is an illusion. God will protect her and certainly her infant Son. She will not blame us, or even the magi.”

Having broken his precious silence already, I asked more, “King David, don’t you know that stars go from west to east and we are going from north where these Persian’s came from, south to Jerusalem. This can’t be a star. Also, we can see it during the day. No one can see stars in daylight. And a star could never point out as small a thing as one little town or a little barn or especially a baby in the barn.”

“Shhh!” David exhorted me to stop the questions and I did as we kept walking fast but in silence. Many hours later, we all paused for a water break. Then kind King David pulled me aside and whispered,

“God neither sent these men prophets nor angels because like the Jews they would not have believed them, but rather he sent something familiar and nonthreatening to their sense of reason, a star. Thus little by little God drew these men to greater and greater knowledge. This so-called star was sent to Persia to bring these three men to the manger to confirm to the Jews what their own prophets foretold.  And as for Herod, don’t fret; driving this holy family into Egypt was important to God. It was to recall Jacob’s (a.k.a. Israel) beloved son Joseph who was driven into Egypt by hatred and there saved all [the tribes] of Israel. What man intends for evil, God uses for good.”   

One of the magi then came to fetch us, “We must be going, come quickly.”