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.”

Christmas at the Manger -16

This is the 16th and final entry in a series entitled God the Love Story Autumn about the autumnal journey to Christmas.

Here I was walking to Christmas with the three Kings and Grandpa King David, all of us following the star together! I had been alone on this path for so long that I had to get used to walking with others again, keeping up with their pace, trying to figure out when to talk and when to be silent, all those things that people with people have to do. Well, with this group it was mostly silence and I liked it that way.

I wanted to prepare every ounce of me for the moment of meeting baby Jesus Christ. I almost know how Simeon and Anna, the old people, must have felt when they beheld the infant savior. They certainly had the spiritual sight Moses taught me about. To see this baby and to know how special he is was a gift.

Of the kazillion people who ever lived, who were all made in the image and likeness of God, the Creator of the universe, only Jesus perfectly reflected the image of God to the world. Not Moses, not Abraham, not Noah, not Adam, no one else could show us how to relate to our Father from beginning to end. No one else could show us how to be human. Jesus is the model, and God knows we need a model. He is the only person who can say, “It’s my way or the highway!” and be absolutely right and not even mean. It’s just true, that’s all.

All of those miracles of healing and raising people from the dead and walking on water are kind of intimidating to some aspiring immortals. How could we ever be like that?  A good model should be attainable, they think. But really God let Jesus show off just to get attention. Jesus said anyone could do all those miracles and some people do some of them sometimes because the miracles just come down to being in perfect harmony with the creation and the Creator. It’s like knowing how to play a huge pipe organ. If you are in tune with how it all works it is not hard at all, but if you don’t know, well, it’s impossible to make the instrument work the way it is meant to. Same with creation. If you are in tune with the Creator and creation, even more than scientists think they are- who can be more ignorant than they know, then you can master nature too. That’s elementary for some aspiring immortals. But mastering nature isn’t as important as being in harmony with the Creator of it.  It’s not the miracles that matter as much as the relationship with God that makes the miracles, that matters.

These were the kinds of things I was thinking about as the four kings and I approached Bethlehem.

I even had to stop thinking though when my eyes beheld the City of David! This was a real town! People all around not even realizing that the most important event in the history of the earth was taking place, and they were just chatting away and cooking foods, and playing in the streets. I don’t think anyone in town saw the star, but sure enough it led us to the exact building. When we arrived, King David was the one to knock on the door, he being the grandfather and all.

Joseph let us in. I was last. When I entered that manger-barn I was so overwhelmed by the vibrations and the light that I collapsed and covered my head and started to cry. It had been such a long journey that I couldn’t believe I was really and truly at the belly button of history. No one even noticed me because they had their own greetings to make. Simeon and Anna were there, and the lambs and goats.

After a while Joseph noticed me and he came over to me and held out his hand to help me up. I took it and even though he didn’t know me from Adam Joseph gave me a big bear hug. Well, that made me start crying all over again. When I got control of myself he walked me over to the baby Jesus, and that started me all over again. I just cried and cried. I couldn’t help myself. Mary didn’t mind. She just looked at me as if she was my mother too, with patience and kindness. She was so young.

Eventually I stopped crying and we all sat around the baby and talked and laughed like people do in a regular hospital room. About an hour or so later Joseph got up signaling that it was time to leave and let Mary and Jesus rest. We all stood up and hugged everybody. Baby Jesus was fast asleep by then. I didn’t want to go so I let the kings go first. When I couldn’t delay anymore and I was almost out the door, Joseph called me. “Wait a minute, I almost forgot. I have a Christmas present for you.” And he handed me a wooden box.

You’re not going to believe this, but I don’t care because I know it’s true. I opened the box and inside was a pair of golden shoes!